Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring and sleep apnea are common ailments millions of people suffer from each night. While snoring can be loud and disruptive to loved ones, it is important to remember that it may signal a life threatening disorder, such as sleep apnea. Both snoring and sleep apnea prevent you from getting the sleep you need to be energetic, productive, and an overall happy person. Luckily, snoring and sleep apnea are related medical problems that our ENT doctors in Arlington, Dallas and Fort Worth, commonly treat.

It is extremely important to distinguish between snoring and sleep apnea, as their treatment plan and level of urgency are quite different. While the majority of people will snore at some point in their lives, it is typically more of a social problem than a serious health issue. Snoring can be either intermittent or habitual, and while it is often a problem for a bed partner, it is not life threatening.

On the other hand, chronic snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea and will require a visit to the ear, nose, and throat clinic.

Sleep Apnea Even though both snoring and sleep apnea can be disruptive and cause social problems with your bed partner and others who reside under the same roof, sleep apnea can be life threatening. You should contact your ENT doctor in Texas if you suffer from chronic snoring, as it may be a sign of sleep apnea and could possibly mean decreased levels of oxygen during sleep and decreased REM sleep. Lack of sleep and oxygen can result in mood swings, poor concentration and energy, and a higher risk of developing cardiac and pulmonary disease.If you don’t not seek treatment, you may also be at an elevated risk for strokes, heart attacks, and cardiac rhythm abnormalities. It is important to note that only a physician or ENT doctor can determine whether or not you are suffering from sleep apnea.
Symptoms Snoring and breathing cessations are common symptoms of sleep apnea that should prompt you to contact your ENT doctor, but there are additional symptoms you should be aware of, including:

  • Snoring with pauses in breathing
  • Excessive daytime drowsiness
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Restless sleep
  • Problem with mental function
  • Poor judgment
  • Memory loss
  • Quick to anger
  • High blood pressure
Treatment Non-medical treatments that may be recommended by your ENT doctor to treat snoring and sleep apnea include:

  • Weight loss – as little as 10 pounds may make a difference
  • Change of sleep position
  • Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals
  • Avoid sedatives

Additional treatment options may be available and recommended through your ENT doctor in Texas. Radio frequency and laser-assisted uvuloplasty are two common methods used to treat sleep apnea, specifically.

If you have any questions regarding the symptoms, treatment, or characteristics of snoring and sleep apnea, please do not hesitate to contact our ear, nose, and throat clinics today in Arlington, Dallas and Fort Worth.