What’s the difference between Snoring and Sleep Apnea?

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The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that there are approximately 90 million Americans who snore during sleep and 22 million who actually suffer from sleep apnea. Because the symptoms of both can be very similar, sometimes it’s hard to determine which condition you suffer from. At Bright Smile Dental Care, our Aloha, OR dentist Dr. Negru takes great care to assess and treat his sleep apnea patients with the most effective methods available.

In general, snoring is the sound caused by a vibration of the soft palate and other tissues in the nose, mouth and throat. The vibration occurs when the airways in the nose or vocal chords become partially blocked. While snoring might simply seem like a source of embarrassment or an annoyance for your bed partner, it can actually be indicative of a more serious condition known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a potentially life threatening diagnosis that prevents air from reaching the lungs and causes breathing to stop altogether for short periods of time.

The descriptions of these conditions might seem straightforward, but definitive diagnosis can be tricky and should always be done by a professional. With more than 15 years of experience with treating sleep apnea, Dr. Negru knows how to evaluate your condition and implement a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Mild cases of sleep apnea can often be treated with minor lifestyle adjustments, such as losing weight, changing your sleeping position or reducing alcohol intake. For more serious cases, Dr. Negru might recommend DNA appliance therapy or a SomnoMed sleep appliance.

Fortunately, snoring doesn’t always translate to a case of sleep apnea, but it’s important to get a professional diagnosis because failure to treat the condition can increase your risk of serious health issues including heart attack, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure

If you are a resident of Beaverton, Hillsboro or Aloha, OR and you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, contact Bright Smile Dental Care at 503-848-3606 so that Dr. Negru can help you get a good night’s sleep.

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