A percentage of all regular snorers suffer from a condition known as Sleep Apnea. There are three major causes of this sleep disorder:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): the most commonplace and it comes about from there being a blockage of the airway.
- Central Sleep Apnea: this occurs when the central nervous system in the brain does not send a signal to the breathing muscles. It’s not usually a snoring related condition.
- Complex Sleep Apnea: this condition is a combination of the two.
Sufferers of any of these conditions can experience several problems. It’s advised that sufferers should see a doctor to discuss their unique situation. Those who suffer from sleep apnea do not always snore, and not all snorers suffer from sleep apnea. The best way to understand your condition is to keep a journal to record your sleeping and symptom experiences.
The most common of these conditions, obstructive sleep apnea, can be suffered by anybody. However, there are certain factors that can increase the risk. For example, being too heavy, over the age of 65, male and a smoker can put you more at risk. There are also some race specific factors that will mean more risk – ie being of Afro-Caribbean background, Latin American or if you are from the Pacific Islands will all increase your chances of being a sufferer of the condition.
You can expect to experience symptoms such as:
- Feeling tired in the morning from not getting a good night’s sleep
- Waking up suddenly and feeling as though you don’t have enough air
- Loud snoring with occasional choking or gasping
- Stretched pauses between each breath whilst sleeping
- Difficulties with focusing and concentration
- Feeling irritable and moody
Do children get OSA?
Children can suffer from sleep apnea, but when it comes to diagnosis – it’s a little bit more difficult. Parents should look out for children sleeping in unusual positions, bedwetting, excessive sweating and/or night terrors. During the day the child might be hyperactive, have growth or development problems and may tend to breathe through the mouth. Doctors often recommend removal of the tonsils or the adenoids to overcome this.
What is the treatment for Sleep Apnea in adults?
Snoring and sleep apnea are very similar when it comes to treatment. If you are overweight, consider dropping some pounds. You’ll get a much better sleep and so will your loved ones. Smoking is something that should be stopped for good. It can increase inflammation in your throat which will cause snoring. Stay away from alcohol or any sleeping aids, whether they are pharmaceutical or herbal based. They can relax the throat muscles which will increase snoring due to the obstruction in the airway. Maintaining a consistent bedtime and sleep routine will help.
If you do think that you may have sleep apnea then you should book an appointment at your doctor. You’ll be able to get a diagnosis and some recommendations on the most suitable treatment. Another solution could be the Good Morning Snore Solution. It’s been proven to be effective at preventing snoring by pulling the tongue forward. You can read more about it on our HOW IT WORKS page.