Snoring is the top symptom of sleep apnea. When you have sleep apnea, your breathing stops repeatedly while you sleep, which can lead to serious health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. The ENT doctors at Specialty Physician Associates have extensive experience evaluating and treating snoring and sleep apnea using numerous in-office procedures and effective therapies. To schedule an appointment, use online booking or call one of the offices in Bethlehem, Allentown, Quakertown, and Wind Gap, Pennsylvania.
Muscles and soft tissues relax when you fall asleep, including those in your tongue, soft palate, and around your throat. As these tissues relax, they tend to fall toward your throat, where they can cover your airway.
Snoring occurs when the airway is partially covered and the tissues vibrate as air flows through. You have sleep apnea when your breathing stops because the airway is completely blocked by soft tissues.
Everyone with sleep apnea snores, often quite loudly. However, many patients who snore don’t have sleep apnea.
These are the most common symptoms caused by sleep apnea:
Every time you stop breathing, your oxygen level drops until your brain nudges you to take a breath. You seldom regain full consciousness during these episodes, so you’re not aware of your snoring or the fact that you may have apnea.
Your doctor at Specialty Physician Associates examines your nose, mouth, throat, and neck to determine whether you have any physical issues contributing to the problem, such as a nasal obstruction or infection.
When a physical cause isn’t found, the next step is a sleep study, either at home or in a sleep lab. A home sleep study records your oxygen levels, breathing, and air flow while you sleep, which gives your doctor the information needed to diagnose sleep apnea.
These are a few examples of treatments for snoring and sleep apnea:
If someone complains about your snoring or you’re concerned you might have sleep apnea, schedule an appointment online or call Specialty Physician Associates.