Apnea and Snoring

THE BASIS OF HAPPINESS IS A GOOD REST AND A REPAIRING DREAM

During sleep, the muscles responsible for keeping the airway permeable suffer relaxation, the passage of air at the level of the pharynx is hindered and, as a consequence, the soft tissues vibrate, producing snoring. In many cases, a lack of airflow causes a drop in oxygen levels in the blood, the brain is alerted by this drop and there are numerous interruptions to sleep throughout the night (sleep apneas). This oxygen deficiency generates a series of symptoms such as hypersomnolence, general tiredness, depression, etc. These alterations affect the mood and personal, work and social life of the patient, without forgetting the risk of suffering a work or traffic accident as they are more vulnerable to falling asleep.

The main symptoms of sleep apnea are chronic snoring, respiratory arrest, and tiredness (a feeling of not having slept well).

Behind snoring, there may be an illness. 50% of the population snore and sleep disorders increasingly affect more and more people over 35 years of age. For the treatment of snoring and mild apneas, the use of a mandibular advancement device is effective: it is an intraoral device that bases its action on controlled advancement, preventing the pharyngeal space from closing.

They are comfortable and easy to use and allow mouth movements such as talking, drinking or coughing without too many limitations. This appliance must be adapted under the supervision of an expert dentist in this type of pathology and previous oral rehabilitation. These devices are a good alternative for patients with mild apneas or for those who do not tolerate CPAP devices, as they are much more complex and bulky.

DIAGNOSIS OF APNEA

  • Carrying out a detailed medical history, which will provide us with a lot of information about sleep habits.
  • An examination of the upper airways to detect any physiological abnormalities.
  • In some cases, a polysomnographic study to assess how the patient sleeps.

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Frequent Questions

Is apnea at night a health problem?

Apnea is a very serious problem. Apart from the feeling, or not, of exhaustion that we may notice, the fact of stopping breathing for a few seconds while we sleep will bring with it serious cardiovascular and cerebro-vascular problems.

Snoring and apnea is the same?

No. Snoring is the noise that occurs when the respiratory flow is decreased or blocked by the tissues of the upper airways. Instead, apnea is a disorder where breathing stops or becomes very shallow. Generally, the patient who snores usually snores, but not all people who snore do apneas, some do.

Are apneas to be treated?

Yes. First with hygienic sleep and dietary measures and if they cannot be controlled, with an oral appliance (mandibular advancement device) or with CPAP.

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Georgina (Tarragona)

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