Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes snoring and pauses breathing during sleep. These pauses may happen 30 or more times an hour. This results in a reduced quality of sleep, making patients tired during the day. In addition spouses often suffer too. Loud and persistent snoring can keep them awake and take a toll on their well-being.
Snoring occurs when a person's tongue falls back in their mouth and blocks their airway. This tends to happen when people sleep on their backs. So when your spouse elbows you because you are snoring and you roll onto your side, gravity pulls your tongue to the side and your airway isn't blocked any more. The snoring stops!
When your tongue completely blocks your airway and you stop breathing, it is called sleep apnea. Patients are given sleep studies that monitor and record their breathing habits and blood oxygen levels during the night. This is a simple test that is taken in the comfort of your own bed. The results of this test are read by a physician to determine if the patient just has snoring or if it is sleep apnea.
Dental Health Care, Ltd.
Daniel K. Marinic, DDS
2611 Broadway Avenue
Evanston, Illinois 60201