Do others complain about your loud snoring when you sleep? It could be a sign of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that affects almost 22 million Americans. The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 80% of those people have moderate to severe sleep apnea that’s undiagnosed.
For over 20 years, Dr. William M. Schneider in Walnut Creek, California, has helped patients struggling with sleep apnea by providing fast and effective snoring solutions to this common sleep disorder. Dr. Schneider understands healthy sleep contributes to overall well-being.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder. It’s also one of the culprits behind chronic snoring. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea frequently stop breathing for prolonged periods while they sleep. This condition causes loud, chronic snoring and can be extremely dangerous when left untreated.
There are three kinds of sleep apnea:
Obstructive sleep apnea
The most common kind of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. When your body relaxes, so does your face, mouth, and tongue. As you sleep and become relaxed, your tongue falls toward your soft palate, the back part of the roof of your mouth.
This causes an obstruction or blockage in the airways, preventing you from breathing and getting adequate oxygen.
Central sleep apnea
If you aren’t automatically breathing in enough oxygen while you sleep, you may have central sleep apnea. This happens when your body fails to send the right signals to your brain, and so your breathing becomes so shallow that it’s ineffective.
Basically, you’re breathing so little that your body and brain aren’t getting the oxygen they require. If you have central sleep apnea, you may frequently wake up struggling to breathe.
Mixed sleep apnea
Mixed sleep apnea, also known as complex sleep apnea, is a combination of both. Signals from your brain cause shallow breathing. Plus, your breathing is ineffective in supplying oxygen because of a physical blockage to your airways.
All types of sleep apnea cause chronic snoring, among other serious health issues.
Effects of sleep apnea
This untreated sleep disorder can disrupt your life, harming you mentally and physically. Here are just some of the health problems you may experience.
- Jaw pain
- Dry mouth
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Chronic fatigue
- Poor performance at work or school
If you’re affected by any of the above problems, it’s important that you talk to Dr. Schneider.
Do you have sleep apnea?
If others complain about your snoring, or you often find yourself waking up while gasping for breath, you might have sleep apnea. Other risk factors increase your chances of having sleep apnea, including:
- Being over 40
- Being overweight
- Having a large neck
- Having a large tongue or tonsils
- Being male
- Having allergies or sinus problems
- Having a family history of sleep apnea
Luckily, Dr. Schneider offers several options to treat sleep apnea, including oral devices and recommended lifestyle changes.
Don’t let chronic snoring keep you and your family from getting a good night’s sleep. Make an appointment with Dr. Schneider by calling us today at 925-935-2700, or use our convenient online scheduling tool.