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Sleep Apnea

Snoring & Sleep Apnea

What is it? Sleep apnea is paused breathing during sleep, and snoring is the noise caused by vibrations in the airway during sleep. So, patients with Sleep apnea snore, but not all snorers have Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea snoring tends to have different characteristics than primary snoring — and more serious consequences. You may have sleep apnea if, while you sleep, you:

  • Snore extremely loudly
  • Pause while breathing for more than 10 seconds
  • Take shallow breaths
  • Gasp or choke
  • Are restless

Snoring that’s not caused by sleep apnea — called primary snoring — can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Older age, which can cause more relaxed throat muscles.
  • Nose or throat conditions, such as a deviated septum (when the wall that divides the nose is pushed to one side) or enlarged tonsils.
  • Sleep style, especially sleeping on your back.
  • Use of alcohol, other depressants or muscle relaxants close to or at bedtime.
  • Being overweight, which leads to poor muscle tone and more tissue around the neck.

The causes of sleep apnea range from medical conditions to your anatomy — anything that blocks your airway while you sleep. Causes of sleep apnea include:

  • Obesity
  • Large tonsils
  • Endocrine disorders, such as hypothyroidism.
  • Neuromuscular conditions, such as stroke or muscular dystrophy.
  • Heart or kidney failure.
  • Genetic conditions, such as cleft lip and cleft palate.
  • Premature birth (babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy).

If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a number of health problems including hypertension, stroke, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy (enlargement of the muscle tissue of the heart), heart failure, diabetes, obesity and heart attacks.

Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment pakenham

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