Do you wake up tired and irritable? Does your spouse complain that you snore or gasp for breath at night?
Most likely, you’ve always considered snoring to be a mere inconvenience in your life. Snoring increases greatly after you reach the age of 35; 60% of men and 40% of women are habitual snorers. However, it can be much more dangerous than you think.
Snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. This potentially life-threatening disease actually causes you to stop breathing while you sleep – dozens, possibly hundreds of time per night, often for ten seconds or more at a time. Sleep apnea can be very dangerous to your health if it isn’t treated. Most people with obstructive sleep apnea snore loudly and frequently, with periods of silence when airflow is reduced or blocked. They then make choking, snorting, or gasping sounds when their airway reopens. This sleep-disordered breathing occurs when your tongue, throat, and jaw muscles relax, causing your airway to be blocked off. Snoring/sleep apnea has been proven to cause a range of serious health risks, including heart attacks, hypertension, strokes, diabetes, depression, extreme daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, and memory deficit.
As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Herringshaw has been trained to fabricate oral appliances to move the lower jaw forward slightly, which tightens the soft tissue and muscle of the upper airway to prevent obstruction of the airway during sleep. This also prevents the tissues of the upper airway from vibrating as the air passes over them – the most common cause of snoring.
Because obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous condition, if you believe you or someone you love may suffer from it, call us at (586)-573-4042 for an initial consultation or to obtain more information.
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