Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Snoring & Sleep Apnea in Oceanside, CA
Snoring is certainly a nuisance for others around you, but did you know that it could also impact your health? While many things can cause snoring, if you find yourself dealing with loud snoring night after night, you may need to consider that you could have a common sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you suspect you might be dealing with this issue, call our board-certified otolaryngologists Dr. Robert Jacobs, Dr. Richard Liu and Dr. Sarah Carroll for an evaluation.
What’s the Difference Between Snoring and Sleep Apnea?
Snoring occurs when tissue in the back of the throat vibrates as you breathe air in while you sleep. On the other hand, obstructive sleep apnea causes the tissue in the back of the throat to collapse, blocking the airways and causing pauses in breathing. This also decreases oxygen to the brain. There are many reasons you might snore: allergies, a bad cold or drinking alcohol; however, if snoring persists for nights on end, it’s a good reason to visit an ENT. It’s important to note that while many people with sleep apnea do snore, not everyone who snores has obstructive sleep apnea.
What Are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?
It’s essential to spot the warning signs of sleep apnea to get the treatment you need. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) requires treatment, as uncontrolled OSA can increase your risk for diabetes, heart attack and stroke. Signs and symptoms that OSA include,
- Waking up exhausted despite a whole night’s sleep
- Pauses in breathing while sleeping
- Mouth breathing
- Dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
- Extreme daytime fatigue
- Trouble concentrating
- Increased irritability
- Brain fog
- Mood swings
- Falling asleep behind the wheel or needing to nap in the afternoon
How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
A sleep study is the best way to diagnose a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. You’ll want to talk with our ENT team about whether you should participate in a sleep study based on the symptoms you’re experiencing. A sleep study is most often performed overnight at a sleep clinic; however, there are also at-home testing options for sleep apnea. Ask our team to learn more.
How Is Sleep Apnea Traditionally Treated?
Whether you are dealing with primary snoring or obstructive sleep apnea, our goal for treatment is to keep airways open to improve sleep quality and help you get a better night’s sleep. Lifestyle modifications such as losing excess weight and eating smaller meals can improve snoring and sleep apnea; however, CPAP therapy is the gold standard for treating sleep apnea. This facemask delivers pressurized air to keep the airways open while you sleep.
Are There Any New Ways To Treat Sleep Apnea and Snoring?
Thankfully, some amazing new treatment options are available to manage your snoring and sleep apnea, including oral devices, soft palate radiofrequency to remove excess tissue, and an upper airway stimulation device. We’d be happy to discuss all treatment options with you, so you know which one is best suited to your needs.