By some estimates 80 million Americans snore. That is about one out of every 4 men, women and children. Snoring is a sign that you no longer have an open, unobstructed airway and your breathing is becoming harder. When you breathe in, air is funneled to a narrow portion of your airway. The noise you hear is the vibrating loose tissue in your throat. This is a simplified explanation and does not take into account the vacuum effect which will eventually cause you to stop breathing as the snoring worsens.
This vacuum effect is similar to what takes place on a straw as you suck on a particularly thick milkshake. Once your airway closes, the oxygen level in your brain and all the other organs in your body begins to drop. This happens so quickly that permanent brain damage can occur in as little as 90 seconds after breathing stops.
Remember that this all started with simple but not so benign snoring. So, snoring is far from harmless and is indicated in increase risk for strokes. It also causes marital problems in one out of every 4 married couples.
If you snore, you really need to tell your doctor and ask to have a PSG sleep study done to determine if you already have sleep apnea.
If you just have snoring, it is time to treat it before you have the apnea without knowing it. Snoring can be treated with Oral Appliances, Surgery or CPAPs. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not yet recognize snoring as a disease and therefore do not pay for any procedure. Your PSG would be covered if your doctor orders it.
For more information, call or contact my office online to get the details on how oral appliances can help.