Like aging and expansions to the Law and Order and CSI franchises, snoring is inevitable. If you are breathing and sleeping, chances are you will let out the occasional snore from time to time. Much as many of us might hate to admit it, snoring once in a while is perfectly normal and we all do it.
However, when snoring becomes chronic and is accompanied by visible pauses and breaks in breathing patterns throughout the night, it can signal a potentially serious sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. From the office ofSpartanburg & Greer ENT in Greer and Spartanburg, SC, here is some information on this condition.
What is Sleep Apnea?
A potentially dangerous sleep disorder that can lead to serious health complications if left untreated, sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the throat relax during sleep, and breathing is interrupted and paused throughout the night. Chronic snoring is often a sign of sleep apnea, although many people are often unaware that they are having breathing problems in their sleep.
Some of the waking symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- feeling sleepy and exhausted throughout the day even after a full night's sleep
- mouth breathing
- dry mouth
- dry/sore throat
- mood swings
The ear, nose and throat doctors at Spartanburg & Greer ENT offer treatment for excessive snoring and sleep apnea, which is divided into three categories:
Obstructive - the most common form of the condition, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles that control breathing in the throat become relaxed during sleep and block the flow of oxygen in the airway throughout the night.
Central - a rarer form of the condition, central sleep apnea is the result of a failure of the brain to send a signal to the muscles that control breathing, resulting in a complete pause in breathing during sleep.
Complex - complex sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea in one person.
Treatment for Sleep Disorders in Greer and Spartanburg
If you are suffering from chronic snoring and exhibiting symptoms of sleep apnea, contact Spartanburg & Greer ENT at 864-582-2900 to schedule an appointment today.