Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects nearly 20 million American adults. It occurs when the tongue and soft tissues of the throat collapse against the throat during sleep, blocking the airway.
Unfortunately, about 80% of sleep apnea cases go undiagnosed. Many patients either don’t realize that common symptoms like snoring are a sign of sleep apnea, or they are aware of the disorder but don’t understand its severity.
If you are concerned that your partner is suffering from sleep apnea, here are three symptoms you should look out for.
- Loud, excessive snoring is a common symptom that’s associated with sleep apnea. Your partner’s snoring occurs because of vibrations in the airways that are caused by a partial obstruction that restricts the flow of air from moving smoothly through the airways.
- In addition to snoring, another symptom of sleep apnea is frequent, long pauses in breathing during sleep. Patients with sleep apnea can experience these pauses hundreds of times a night for minutes at a time. The pause is usually followed by a loud snorting or gasping sound as the patient struggles to wake themselves up to breathe.
- Since sleep apnea patients rarely get a restful night’s sleep, another common symptom is fatigue upon waking or throughout the day. This isn’t just annoying – it can be downright dangerous if your partner is driving while they are drowsy.
Please Call Us to Get the Facts
While snoring is a common symptom, not all people who snore have sleep apnea. If you suspect your partner has sleep apnea, please call our Northport, NY dental office. We will be happy to arrange a sleep study to determine the extent of the problem and how we can help.
Depending on the severity, a CPAP mask might be indicated, but in many cases, a comfortable, customized oral appliance is all that’s needed to protect your partner’s oral health and allow you to get a good night’s sleep.