Everyone snores occasionally. Perhaps you’re getting over a cold or seasonal allergies are bothering you. That kind of snoring is not a worry. However, if you’ve been told (or maybe yelled at) that your snoring is loud and practically constant, then the problem may be more serious. Loud snoring is one of the chief signs of sleep apnea, a medical condition that temporarily interrupts breathing throughout the night while you’re trying to sleep. Fortunately, there is a solution. Dr. Greg McElroy offers sleep apnea therapy in Encinitas so you and your bed partner can once again get a restful night of sleep.
When you sleep, every part of your body relaxes including the soft tissue in your throat around your airway. As you breathe, this tissue vibrates and that’s what leads to the sound of snoring. With sleep apnea, however, this same tissue blocks your airway to the degree that your breathing stops anywhere from a few seconds to a full minute. To restart breathing, your brain sends a signal through the nervous system that gently awakens the body. This cycle—stop breathing, wake up, stop breathing, wake up—can happen dozens of time a night. And while you may not recall being awake there are cumulative consequences.
In addition to loud snoring, there are other troublesome ramifications to sleep apnea. You may have headaches in the morning or a dry and sore throat. During the day you’re like to be drowsy and have difficulty concentrating. In fact, sleep apnea is often the root cause behind a number of automobile accidents, because drivers are so tired.
In the long run, sleep apnea has been linked to several health conditions including:
Dr. McElroy is able to both diagnose and treat sleep apnea. Oftentimes, diagnosing sleep apnea requires spending the night in a sleep clinic. Dr. McElroy, however, uses an easy and non-invasive test that you use at home in the comfort of your own bed. If this test shows that you do in fact have sleep apnea, then Dr. McElroy will prescribe a special oral appliance to be worn during sleep. Sometimes called a snore guard, this custom designed appliance fits comfortably in your mouth and gently shift your lower jaw forward in order to prevent soft tissue from blocking your airway. You and your partner will finally be able to sleep.
If you suspect that you or someone you love is struggling with sleep apnea, schedule a consultation today with Dr. McElroy at Smiles by Design in Encinitas, CA.