Many people snore while they sleep. It is caused by relaxed throat tissues partially blocking the airway and vibrating with each breath. The vibration sounds can be soft or loud depending on a number of other factors. Snoring itself is not necessarily a cause for concern, however if you our your partner’s snoring is loud and occurs frequently there may be something bigger going on.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts. There are multiple types of sleep apnea and it is most commonly caused by aging, excessive weight and obesity. When a person with sleep apnea falls asleep, their throat muscles and tissues relax however, if there is too much tissue, it can actually cause their airway to become blocked, thus stopping them from breathing. Untreated sleep apnea can cause a person to repeatedly stop breathing sometimes hundreds of times in one night. This means that the person’s brain and body is probably not getting enough oxygen. Sleep apnea is closely linked to many other serious health conditions and should not go untreated.

Common Signs of Sleep Apnea

Many people may dismiss snoring as a natural part of aging, however these characteristics can help you recognize when it may actually be sleep apnea. If you or your partner is a frequent loud snorer, stops breathing, gasp or chokes while sleeping, experiences excessive restlessness at night or feels excessively sleepy during the day, you may be dealing with sleep apnea. Aside from lessened sleep quality, untreated sleep apnea poses many health risks and should be treated as soon as possible.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

At The Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Carolina, our trained team members can help to assess patients for sleep apnea and administer sleep studies if more information is needed. There are several treatment options for sleep apnea and we want find the one that is right for you. If you have further questions about sleep apnea or would like to schedule an initial visit, contact our Rock Hill, Fort Mill, or Lancaster SC office today.