Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorders

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Snoring

What is snoring?

Snoring is the sound that occurs during sleep when flow of air is obstructed in the area where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula. Snoring noises occur when these structures vibrate against each other during breathing.

It is estimated that 45% of all adults snore occasionally, and 25% habitually snore. Snoring is more common in males and people who are overweight, and worsens with age.

Snoring is obstructed breathing. In addition to disturbed sleep patterns and sleep deprivation, other serious health problems may result. Snoring may also be a symptom of other medical conditions.

What causes snoring?

Snoring may be caused by many factors, including:

  • Poor muscle tone

  • Excessively bulky throat tissue

  • Long soft palate

  • Long uvula

  • Stuffed or blocked nasal passages

  • Deformities of the nose

  • Deformities of the nasal septum

Can snoring be prevented?

Mild or occasional snoring may be helped by:

  • A healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and proper diet

  • Losing weight

  • Avoiding tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and antihistamines before bedtime

  • Avoiding alcohol at least 4 hours before bedtime

  • Avoiding heavy meals at least 3 hours before bedtime

  • Establishing regular sleeping patterns

  • Sleeping on your side

  • Tilting the head of the bed up about 4 inches

Heavy or chronic snoring may require medical care.

Treatment for snoring

Specific treatment for snoring will be determined by your health care provider based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history

  • Extent of the disorder

  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies

  • Expectations for the course of the disorder

  • Your opinion or preference

Treatment may include a nasal mask that provides continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), or surgery.

Seven out of every ten Americans get out of bed in the morning unraveled and unrestored. Sometimes their sleep is disrupted because of life's stresses, illness, lifestyle excesses, or personal physical makeup. Untreated, these issues over time can develop into a chronic and serious disorder. Too often we tend to think that's just the way it is. But it doesn't have to be.

Some of the Disorders we diagnose and treat are:

 

 
• Snoring is the sound produced by obstructed breathing during sleep. People who snore have an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. More study is needed to determine whether those snorers at risk for more serious problems are people who have actual pauses in breathing while snoring, called sleep apnea.
• Sleep Apnea is a condition in which breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The time period for which the breathing stops or decreases is usually between 10 and 30 seconds. When these episodes occur repeatedly, sleep apnea can seriously disrupt the quality of sleep.
• Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurologic disorder. It is characterized by: Unpleasant sensations in the legs or an irresistible urge to move your legs
• Narcolepsy is a disorder of the nervous system. It results in frequent, involuntary, episodes of sleep during the day. Sleep attacks can occur while you drive, talk, or work.
• Insomnia is a poor quality sleep. This may mean a lack of sleep or difficulty staying asleep. Some have trouble falling asleep, or problems waking in the middle of the night or very early in the morning.

Remember, an untreated sleep disorder can seriously impact your health or even shorten your life. The price you pay for a bad night's sleep varies from poor perception and judgment, reduced efficiency or productivity, an irritable mood, even the inability to understand or retain information. A lack of sleep also makes you more susceptible to accidents.

Our physicians, who are board certified in Sleep Medicine, will diagnose the specific issue that's keeping you from a good night's sleep. We provide a broad range of services and treatments to get you back on the path to restorative sleep. And, should your diagnosis require equipment such as a CPAP machine, Valley Home Care staff can work closely with you and your physician to provide the equipment and support you need to be successful with your therapy.