Snoring and Sleep Apnea: Causes, Risks, and Treatment Options
posted: Mar. 15, 2023.
If you’ve ever spent the night around others and had them complain about your constant snoring, you may want to consider talking to your ENT doctor about testing for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when there is an obstruction in your airway, often caused by your tongue falling back, and pauses in your breath as you sleep. Sleep apnea can be extremely dangerous if it isn’t treated and can cause lifelong problems and even be life-threatening. It’s important that you’re able to spot signs of sleep apnea and get treatment as soon as possible.
All About Sleep Apnea
You may think that snoring isn’t a big deal, but it could be a sign of something more severe that you’re dealing with. Snoring is often one of the first signs of sleep apnea, which can really affect every aspect of your life. Sleep apnea is usually caused by your tongue falling back and blocking the airway. This means you aren’t getting the oxygen you need as you sleep.
There are risk factors that can increase your chance of dealing with sleep apnea. It’s important to maintain these risks as best as you can. They include:
- Being overweight
- Having a narrow airway
- Being male
- Older age
- Having a family history
- Using alcohol or sedatives
- Dealing with nasal congestion
Once you talk to your doctor about sleep apnea, you’ll need to start a treatment plan as soon as you’ve been diagnosed. The first step is making lifestyle changes. You should be sure to maintain a healthy weight and quit smoking. Changing your sleep position may also help you breathe better.
Your ENT doctor may also recommend using a CPAP machine to deliver air to your system as you sleep. Oral appliances can also help keep your throat open by bringing the jaw forward to help prevent your tongue from falling back.
Contact Your ENT Doctor Today
Learn more about sleep apnea and if it might be affecting you. Contact your ENT doctor to learn more about the risks of sleep apnea and how you can start treatment immediately.
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