Posted on Friday, November 15th, 2019 at 6:27 pm
Although snoring is widely accepted and is often made light of in our society, it can often point to more serious health concerns. Snoring can be an indicator of sleep apnea, which is a condition that is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. For some people, these pauses can last up to a minute — or more. This sleep condition is more prevalent in those who are overweight, and tends to worsen with age.
While some occasional, light snoring isn’t considered to be a significant issue, persistent, heavy snoring can impede sleep quality. In severe cases, it can be beneficial to seek medical advice to ensure a good night of restful sleep.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is mainly caused by a physical obstruction of airflow through the nose and mouth. There are several different ways that airflow can be obstructed, including:
- Blocked Nasal Passages: Snoring is common for those who are suffering from seasonal colds or sinus infections. Additionally, deviated septums and internal nasal growths may be the culprit.
- Weak Throat and Tongue Muscles: Your mouth and throat are filled with muscles that help you chew, swallow, and digest food. If these muscles are weakened, they can collapse and fall back into your airway. Weakened throat and tongue muscles can be caused by alcohol or medication. These muscles also naturally weaken with age.
- Bulky Throat Tissue: Those who are overweight, have large tonsils, or bulky nasal tissue, are more likely to snore while sleeping.
- Oversized Uvula and Soft Palate: Your uvula and palate are soft tissues that, when oversized, can obstruct your airway passages while you sleep. As air travels through, these soft tissues can vibrate and come into contact with one another — causing you to snore.
Health Concerns and Risks
Snoring can be an indicator of more severe health issues, such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can lead to several problems, such as:
- Prolonged interruptions in breathing
- Waking up frequently during the night
- Light sleep
- Heavier strain on the heart
- Higher blood pressure
- Enlargement of the heart
- Increased risk for heart attack
- Increased risk for stroke
- Increased risk for car accidents
- Impeded quality of life
When You Should Seek Help For Snoring
If you notice that heavy, persistent snoring is disrupting your quality of sleep, it may be beneficial to talk about treatment options with a trained sleep specialist like Dr. Brown and the team at Silent Night Therapy. Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, and we’ll be here to find the solution that will help you get it. Schedule your complimentary consultation with us by calling (631) 983-2463 or by filling out a contact form today.
Posted on Monday, November 4th, 2019 at 4:14 am
The Mayo Clinic states that the average age a woman experiences menopause is 51, but some women may experience menopause even earlier in their 40s, and some women may not experience it until their late 50s. The bottom line is that menopause is a natural biological process.
The problem with menopause is that many of its symptoms can overlap with the symptoms of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Women who think of their symptoms as only being associated with menopause may be ignoring potential signs of a sleep disorder.
Some of the most common symptoms of menopause that can also be signs of sleep disorders may include:
- Weight gain
- Irregular periods that vary in frequency or intensity
- Hot flashes
- Joint or muscle pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased sexual interest or discomfort
- Poor concentration or memory loss
- Vaginal and urinary problems
- Mood swings or irritability
Other symptoms of sleep apnea may be dismissed as being the effects of growing older. Loud snoring or other pauses in breathing while sleeping are some of the most common signs of sleep apnea and deserve to be examined more closely.
Menopause can increase the likelihood of sleep apnea because the levels of estrogen and progesterone that are high before a woman undergoes menopause will decline and become much lower after menopause. One study of women in multiple age groups found that the prevalence of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea increased less than 1 percent in women between 20 years of age and 44 years of age, 2 percent in women 45 years of age to 64 years of age, and 7 percent in women 61 years of age to 100 years of age.
A post-menopausal woman who underwent hormone replacement therapy had much lower rates of sleep apnea prevalence than women who did not receive hormone replacement therapy. Grace Pien, an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, said postmenopausal women are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea compared with premenopausal women.
Hormone replacement therapy involving estrogen and progestin can be beneficial to many women in addressing sleep apnea issues. In other cases, exercise could be recommended, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or hormone replacement therapies could also be used.
Contact Silent Night Therapy
Women who are dealing with signs of menopause that could also be symptoms of sleep apnea should contact Silent Night Therapy for help. Dr. Clifford Brown has been helping New York residents with sleep apnea since the 1970s and is a member of The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and The Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorder Disciplines who is trained in Dental Sleep Medicine and Oral Appliance Therapy.
We work with most insurance companies so clients can avoid paying most out of pocket expenses. We can talk about how our team can help you when you call (631) 983-2463 or contact us online.