Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Snoring can indicate that you have a condition called sleep apnea.
It's Time to Take Action
Sometimes snoring is an annoyance. Sometimes it’s the subject of a joke. Sometimes people snore occasionally, and sometimes snoring is a chronic problem. Nearly everyone can offer a sure-cure for snoring. But at Baker ENT, we recommend seeing a professional to make sure your snoring isn’t an indication of a more serious health issue.
Signs and symptoms
Snoring can indicate that you have a condition called sleep apnea, a condition in which you stop breathing in your sleep. You need to be evaluated by a professional so you can treat sleep apnea. Here’s what you should be watching for:
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to take action.
What you can do
Your first action is to get a proper diagnosis. In some cases, sleep apnea can be determined through your sleep history, especially when a household member can report your symptoms. Otherwise, you might need a nocturnal polysomnography test or do a home sleep test.
If your sleep apnea is mild, you could be advised to make some lifestyle changes. For more severe cases, you might use a CPAP device or you might need surgery.
Regardless of the severity, lifestyle changes you should make include:
Lose excess weight
Sleep on your side or abdomen
Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills before sleep
Get regular exercise
When lifestyle changes are not enough to address your sleep apnea, you might need to use a CPAP device. Continuous positive airway pressure devices work by increasing the air pressure enough to keep your upper airway passages open.
It can take some time to get used to sleeping with a mask on, so experiment with adjusting the straps on the mask or try a different style of the mask until you find the combination that works for you. It’s worth the effort to improve your health and sleep.
Call Baker ENT if you or a family member experience symptoms of sleep apnea. That includes children, too. Sleep apnea is not limited to elderly men, and it’s no laughing matter.