Sleep Apnea SymptomsSeptember 1, 2017
TMJ Treatment in Idaho FallsFebruary 16, 2018
The common phenomena of snoring affects 37 million Americans on a regular basis (occurring nightly) and up to 90 million Americans are affected intermittently throughout their lives. In the United States as well as the medical community in Idaho Falls, the majority of cases of snoring are regarded as a minor affliction. However, though generalized snoring is considered a minor affliction, medical professionals don’t discount the fact that oftentimes mild snoring evolves over time (and through lifestyle contributing factors) to be more severe or even problematic. Problems that develop or arise as generalized snoring progresses from a minor affliction to more severe conditions range from lifestyle impairment to severe health complications that could ultimately contribute to a snorers untimely death. That said, it is important that those afflicted with snoring should discuss any snoring (whether the snoring is mild, severe, intermittent, or continuous) with their primary health care provider.
When does snoring become problematic?
Chronic snoring, that is snoring which happens nightly or whenever one sleeps is already problematic. As stated before, this is because snoring contributes to the potential development of serious or life threatening medical conditions and can exacerbate a snorers already existing medical conditions. Chronic snoring is also problematic in that it threatens not only the lifestyles of those afflicted, but the lifestyles of other individuals whose sleep habits are disrupted by the snorer such as partners, spouses, and those who a snorer shares sleeping quarters with. These sleep disruptions diminish quality of sleep for all parties affected which cause a myriad of health risks. Examples include problems associated with sleep deprivation such as chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, increased risk of accidents, poor job/school performance, irritability, memory problems, and strained relationships to list just a few. Research also suggests that disruptions to sleep from snoring can cause those afflicted to suffer significant social and psychological damage.
When is snoring dangerous?
Aside from all the potential dangers that individuals impaired by sleep deprivation risk throughout their daily lives, those affected by snoring face major health risks and significant physiological dangers as well. Multiple studies conducted in the U.S. and abroad positively confirm a direct correlation between loud snoring and the risk of a >34 percent increased chance of heart attack. These same studies reveal an even greater risk of a loud snorer to have a stroke, with the increased chance being >67 percent higher than individuals who don’t snore. Other adverse health effects due to snoring that pose a great risk to afflicted individuals include: elevated blood pressure, heart enlargement, decreased oxygen saturation in the bloodstream, and poor perfusion of oxygen to the brain and vital organs to list a few. Additionally, snoring could potentially be a warning sign of the medical condition Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA); a condition which if left untreated poses great risk to the afflicted individuals quality of life, overall health, and can even be the cause of health complications that directly lead to the affected individual’s premature morbidity.
How can snoring be corrected?
Though no tried and true permanent and absolute cure (pharmaceutical, surgical, or mechanical) exists for those afflicted with a snoring condition; there are several on-going treatments available to curtail, significantly lessen the severity of, or even stop the snoring all together. To be clear, even though treatments exist that eliminate or correct the mechanism that causes snoring or OSA for various cases and severity, these treatments are not cures but rather continued nightly therapies. In other words, if the therapies or treatments are discontinued, the mechanism of the snoring or OSA condition will still be present and the snoring or OSA would continue as before the therapy was initiated. In regards to treating cases of obstructive sleep apnea and moderate to severe cases of snoring, FDA approved custom made oral appliances are highly effective in therapeutically correcting these conditions. Several oral appliances
are available such as The Somnomed MAS oral appliances successfully applied therapeutically by Comfort Sleep Solutions, for example. These individually customized
oral appliances are similar to an athletic mouth guard that is worn while sleeping. The oral appliance corrects the jaw’s orientation to keep the airway open and unobstructed. The particular oral appliance above touts a high success rate for therapeutically correcting OSA as well as cases of snoring. Best of all, an oral appliance are small enough to fit in a pocket, requires no electricity (making it a better alternative to C-PAP therapy), requires no headgear, doesn’t limit sleep positions, and are individually customized.