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Snoring and Sleep Apnoea

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?

Moderate to severe snoring can be a warning of the more serious condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) which occurs when there is a partial or full blockage of your airway while sleeping. The body recognises the subsequent lack of oxygen and reacts with muscle spasms. You wake up startled, resume breathing and fall back asleep. This can last for 10 + seconds and can occur hundreds of times per night. The condition of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea can have direct implications for your general health on a long term basis.

The difference between sleep apnoea and normal snoring is that, when you snore, there is generally some sort of obstruction that partially stops airflow during sleep. This causes the tissues of your throat, nose or mouth to vibrate and create a 'snoring' sound. With sleep apnoea, there is a full obstruction that stops airflow completely.

Clinical signs and symptoms of OSA

Considering 1/3 of your life is spent sleeping, you may as well have a good night’s rest! Moderate to severe snoring can be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Some clinical signs and symptoms of OSA are:

  • Morning headache
  • Gastro‚Äźoesophageal reflux (GORD)
  • Intermittent snoring
  • Fragmented light sleep
  • Waking up gasping or choking
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Poor memory
  • Hypertension (raised blood pressure)
  • Irritability
  • Clumsiness
  • Bruxism (grinding of teeth)
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased sex drive or impotence
  • Nocturia
  • Depression

What causes sleep apnoea?

Some causes behind sleep apnoea are unavoidable. Your gender and age are factors that can increase your risk for experiencing sleep apnoea.

Other risk factors for sleep apnoea are more manageable. Weight gain and obesity are major factors, as the added weight can obstruct the airways. Drinking alcohol before bed and being a regular smoker can also contribute to sleep apnoea.

Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

The use of a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) could be the saviour of your marriage! Prior to any procedures we may refer you for a study at a specialised sleep centre. If you have any further questions or would like to organise a consultation, give our friendly team a call to organise a suitable time

For more information on snoring and sleep apnoea click here.

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If you suffer from any of the above symptoms or would like more information, why not schedule an appointment to explore the issue. Alternatively, speak to our professional staff on (02) 9958 0400 for more guidance and information on the subject.

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