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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ABOUT SLEEP APNEA

Due to the relative complexity of sleep apnea, many patients have questions and concerns about the symptoms and issues it poses. We would like to take this opportunity to answer the majority of common questions patients have about sleep apnea. We won’t be able to address all of the concerns in great detail, but this will provide a good overview for those unfamiliar with the condition and what it involves.

Is snoring normal?

Most people snore to some extent and is generally normal. However, if snoring gets to the point where it becomes extremely loud and bothersome to others or is accompanied with interrupted breathing, then this degree of snoring isn’t normal.

Do men snore more than women?

Yes, snoring is found to be more prominent in men than in women. Remember, snoring is often a symtom of sleep apnea and 24% of men compared to only 9% of women have sleep apnea.

Why does snoring occur during sleep?

During sleep the muscle tissue that causes snoring has a tendency to relax. The deeper we fall asleep the more relaxed this tissue becomes. This relaxed tissue will begin to cover the airway and thus the snoring sound begins. By the time we start to snore, we are in a deep enough sleep not to notice or hear the noise.

My partner sometimes stops breathing while asleep, is this normal?

This usually means something is wrong and a larger issue can be lying ahead. It’s important to consider seeing a specialist when this occurs.

Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea dangerous?

Yes! Sleep apnea has been linked to heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, personality changes, impotence, depression and nocturia. One of the most significant symptoms is excessive daytime sleepiness.

Is it possible my child has sleep apnea?

All children should be screened for Sleep Apnea. Children with sleep disorder symptoms are more likely to have trouble academically. Attention deficit, hyperactivity and ADHD are linked to sleep apnea in children.  As parents we should observe our children’s sleep. Check to see if they stop breathing, notice if they gasp for air. See if they are mouth breathers. Check if they have dark circles under their eyes. See if they have a narrow jaw. Did they or do they suck their thumbs. Look and see if they have large tonsils that “kiss” each other in the back of their throat. Check to see if they are tongue thrusters. Pay attention if they are not growing like you think they should.  Check their posture. Do they stand straight or list to one side? Children are often over looked for this condition.

The truth is that everyone should at least be screened for sleep apnea at your physician’s or dentist’s office. And if you have any questions or concerns
ask Dr. Olah.

What causes snoring?

Snoring is most often caused by loose, weak, or excessive tissue at the rear of the throat which collapses into the airway during sleep. This tissue flutters or vibrates as air is breathed in. The fluttering of this tissue is what ultimately causes the sounds associated with snoring.

Why do some people snore more loudly than others?

Some people are simply born with the characteristics that lend themselves to be snorers. These characteristics are body structure and the anatomy of the mouth and surrounding structures. Outside factors such as medications and alcohol can also make snoring worse.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition where the airway becomes blocked, usually by the tongue, due to abnormal muscle relaxation of the tongue and surrounding muscles in the throat area. With the airway covered, a person cannot breathe. At this point, one’s oxygen level in their body drops and their heart rate increases. This lower level of oxygen is dangerous because it can cause a stroke or heart attack. In an attempt to breathe, a person either awakens or partially awakens gasping for breath. Since an individual is always awakening to catch their breath, they never truly get the deep restful sleep needed by the body.

Does insurance cover this therapy?

Yes, sleep apnea is usually covered by insurance. Call us today to find out if your insurance plan does indeed cover sleep apnea.

What if I was tested for sleep apnea somewhere else and I know I have sleep apnea but I did not do anything about it.

For patients who have been tested in the past two years we will be able to work with you. We can use your sleep study test and the physician’s diagnosis to move forward with your treatment. It has been more than two years we will need to do another sleep test.

Refer a friend

Know someone that might be suffering from sleep apnea?
We welcome all referrals.