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How are OSA and Snoring Different?

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OSA Vs Snoring

Occasional snoring is a normal thing; you could pass out from exhaustion or go to bed with a cold and start breathing heavily, and within the hour, start snoring audibly. This is not cause for alarm, but if it gets out of hand the way it does with most Americans, you would be dealing with a nightly habit that was not just annoying, but also dangerous in the long run. Snoring can lead to many different disorders as well as mask their presence – the symptoms of the latter can often get mistaken for snore-induced fatigue.

OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea is one of those problems that can manage to stay hidden for a very long time. Around 20 million people in the country suffer from this, and it has been shown to have links to other health issues like heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

How are OSA and Snoring Different?

It is not uncommon for snoring and sleep apnea to be confused for one another. The main thing to remember is that not all snorers have sleep apnea, even though untreated OSA sufferers snore as a rule. Snoring is a noise caused by the type of labored breathing that causes the soft tissue at the back of the throat to vibrate. This owes to blockage in the nose, mouth, or throat, any of which can disrupt normal breathing, which can be overcome through the use of a snore guard. The following are some of the causes these blocks can be attributed to.

  • Allergies
  • Colds
  • A deviated septum
  • Alcohol
  • Airway obstructions
  • Poor muscle tone

Snoring serves as a symptom of sleep apnea, but is otherwise a distinctly different issue. Sleep apnea acts up the form of the person pausing while breaching, sometimes for as long as 10 seconds at a stretch. This disturbs good sleep and can even preclude it, consequently inviting a long list of health issues like difficulty concentrating, daytime drowsiness, anxiety, and depression.

Diagnosing OSA

It is possible by yourself to figure out whether you have OSA, but the more definitive approach is to go see a doctor. Most regular doctors would either check you themselves or recommend seeing a sleep specialist. The following would be checked.

  • Symptoms
  • Current physical health
  • Medical history
  • Sleep study results

A sleep study is an account of how your body responds when something happens while you are asleep. These record your vitals to figure out how severe the condition is, and the specialist proceeds based on the results it gives.

How Sleep Apnea Relates to Bone Loss

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Sleep Apnea and Bone Loss

You probably already know that when it comes to sleep disorders, Obstructive Sleep Apnea is an issue to be reckoned with. This condition serves as a gateway to a variety of health problems, including heart failure, stroke, and cancer. On that long list is another dangerous issue – osteoporosis. This condition is basically your bones growing weak and brittle due to loss of density.

Following are some of the possible ways in which OSA can lead to bone loss.

  • Apneas cause the oxygen level in the body to drop (hypoxia), which can drive up osteoclast activity and consequently raise bone re-absorption. Hypoxia induces the release of HIF, which assist cells in surviving the lack of oxygen. The problem though, is that one of the hormones, HIF-1α, stimulates the breaking down of bones. This even increases risk of cancer.
  • OSA patients generally have a lot of inflammation, which in an indirect way is bad for their bone densities. The joints are among the most badly affected by this particular problem.
  • Sleep stages and circadian factors have been seen to affect bone turnover too. For instance, Leptin, or the appetite hormone, tells you when you are full. OSA patients by and large have higher levels of this hormone in their systems, which inhibit serotonin production. This too adversely affects bone density.
  • OSA patients are seen to have much less Vitamin D in their bodies, as well as lower bone mineral density. This sufficiently explains the higher hip fracture rates among people of this category.
  • OSA is known to inhibit some hormones, such as TSH, which stimulate thyroid hormone emission, leutenizing hormone (LH), testosterone, and growth hormone (GH). The last one gets secreted chiefly during deep sleep, but OSA upsets this.
  • OSA degrades sleep quality and shortens sleep duration, and both of these things have been shown to cause issues like mild cognitive impairment, frailty, and depression.
  • Prolonged use of acid reducing medications has been seen to raise the probability of fractures, by at least 35%. On the other hand, lower acid levels impede calcium absorption, which is bad for the bones.

These are just some of the ways in which OSA could cause your bones to become fragile over the long term. The best way to deal with this is through the use of snoring solutions signed off by a specialist or expert, such as a sleep apnea mouth guard, for instance.

3 Reasons Why Snoring Occurs and How to Alleviate it

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Stop Snoring Tips

It is a known fact that snoring not just causes sleep disturbances to both the snorer and the bedmate, but also leads to several severe health conditions. For instance, loud snoring is a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which is characterized by breathing cessations during sleep and waking up gasping for breath. An apnea cycle could last from a few seconds to up to an hour in sleep. When snoring is loud and is an apnea symptom, a patient runs the risk of everything from lapses in concentration during the day to cardiovascular disease.

It is important to diagnose and understand the root cause of snoring to get the right remedies for it. Although even allergies and teeth structure can lead to snoring, the following are the main underlying causes of the health condition.

Mouth Breathing and Snoring

This refers to when one breathes through the mouth instead of the nose during sleep. It is recommended to identify if that is the reason why you snore with a medical checkup. Your snoring is likely due to mouth breathing if you snore only when the mouth is open. If so, keeping the mouth closed is the way to alleviate snoring. For that, you can use a chin strap for snoring.

Nasal Blockages and Snoring

If one’s nostrils are congested or if they collapse during sleep, it could cause blockages in the airway. One test to understand that is to close the nose’s one side by pressing it with the finger and then trying to take a breath with the mouth closed. If the nostril sags, then using a nasal dilator could help alleviate that and snoring. However, if nasal congestion is the reason behind constricted breathing, then probably allergies are causing that.

Tongue Falling and Snoring

When the tongue recedes into the throat’s back, it blocks the airway and thereby causes snoring. One way to test if that is the cause is to stick out the tongue as far as you can and grab it amid the teeth. If your snoring is alleviated in that position, it is likely due to tongue falling back into the throat. To prevent that, you can use a Mandibular Advancement Device to keep the lower jaw forward and keep the tongue from blocking the airway. Using a stop snoring mouthpiece will prevent that and will provide a free flow of air during sleep.

3 Common Tips Dieticians Give to Help People Alleviate Snoring

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Tips To Stop Snoring

Snoring occurs when the jaws relax during sleep, causing a partial blockage in the upper airway, and forcing the soft tissues vibrate against the roof of the mouth. The sleep-disordered breathing or the snoring sound can be a cause for annoyance to the person sleeping beside you. It is said that even those who snore, although they not aware of it, wake up momentarily hearing the noise, only to fall back and resume sleep.

There are many ways to clear snoring, including exercising and making changes to bad lifestyle habits, which possibly leads to it, but it is important to make dietary changes to bring a difference to your sleep quality. It may even help to meet a dietician and talk about your snoring and it is likely he or she may recommend you the following changes to your diet. Together with anti snoring aids that advance the lower jaw forward for a free flow of air, ensuring healthy diet and making recommended changes to the lifestyle can bring about a peaceful sleep.

Reduce Salt Intakes

To be precise, you would have to abstain from eating anything that is high on salt. They may include salty biscuits, snacks, and even salty or cheesy popcorn. Excessive salt consumption can build body fluids. As a result, when you lie down on the bed, the fluids in your body make its way up to the neck and that narrows the upper neck airways. So, it is best to avoid salt in the daytime and even before bedtime.

Consumption of Dairy Products

A dairy product such as cheese or consuming milk straightaway can build up mucus in the throat as well as in the airway passages. This can hinder the normal breathing process, even more if you consume milk or dairy products right before bedtime. If you cannot abstain from using dairy items, consider avoiding it at least after having dinner, or try soy milk as an alternative.

Say No to Alcoholic before Bedtime

The throat muscles have a tendency to sag even in an averagely healthy person, but if you drink alcohol before going to sleep, it can relax throat muscles even more so as to cause snoring. An easy fix is to avoid alcohol completely, but this is a suggestion if you cannot make that change quickly and unexpectedly.

How to Use Yoga to Stop Snoring

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Yoga To Stop Snoring

Yoga is a healthy practice well known for its ability to heal people of their stress and anxiety. However, did you know that it could also help stop snoring and sleep apnea in their respective tracks? Throwing in some snore stop yoga exercises to augment your daily routine can prove the difference between peaceful and snore-ridden slumber.

Kapalbhati

“Kapal” means skull and “bhati” means shining, and so this technique is also called the “shining skull” technique. It assists in clearing the cranial sinus, the lungs, and the organs present inside the skull. It makes use of forceful breathing to improve how the cranial sinus and systems function.

  • Get seated in a comfortable position with your spine erect. Place the hands on the knees, and the palms facing up.
  • Take a deep breath in.
  • When you start to exhale; try to pull the navel back toward the spine, as far as you can. Place the right hand on your abdomen to feel the muscles contract. Exhale as forcefully as you can.
  • Start relaxing the navel, so that breath flows automatically into your lungs.
  • Do 20 reps of the above steps to finish one round.
  • After each round, sit still with your eyes closed and pay attention to the way you are feeling.
  • Do 2 more rounds.

Bhastrika

Also called “bellow’s breath”, Bhastrika is intended to make your inhalations equal your exhalations in length. With the increased control this gives you over your breathing, you will be able to take longer breaths and relax more easily.

  • First, you need to sit still and relax the shoulders. From this position, take in a few breaths through the nose and exhale. When you inhale, make sure to expand the stomach as much as possible.
  • Exhale with force through the nose for a single second. After this, inhale with the same force for a single second.
  • Keep breathing in and out this way, counting seconds. Your posture should be kept erect, with shoulders relaxed and body still. Only your belly must rise and fall with each breath going in and out.
  • Do this 10 times to complete a cycle; when you are done with the first round, stop for a few seconds to see how you feel. Start the next cycle of 20 reps, pause again, and see how you feel. Then, do your next set of 30 reps; again, sit still and see how you feel.

What are the Major Sleep Disorders in Infants?

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Sleep Disorders In Infants

The fact that babies will not be able to express their troubles verbally may make it really hard for parents to soothe them, especially for the first-time parents. One of the main things that is seen to trouble new parents a lot is their baby’s sleeping problems.

Although not all sleeping problems are related to medical conditions, there are some “organic causes”, which lead to the same. If so, adequate treatment is crucial, else it can be harmful to your baby as it can eventually lead to other serious infections or health issues. Some of the medical conditions that can disturb the sleep of newborns and toddlers include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Ear infections
  • Fever
  • Snoring or breathing irregularities
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Parasitic infections
  • Milk allergy

As most parents might not be familiar with the symptoms of acid reflux and snoring, below is how these health concerns can cause sleeping problems in infants.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is common in infants and plays a major role in interrupting their sleep cycle. According to a recent study, babies with acid reflux issues are likely to experience frequent arousals. In most cases, GERD will be painful and may cause colic and vomiting in the little one. Additionally, acid reflux is also a risk factor for pulmonary diseases.

GERD can be fatal at times too, and can be classified as a serious disease when it causes the following symptoms in babies.

  • Blood in the vomit or stool
  • Anemia
  • Resistance to feeding
  • Irritability
  • Failure to thrive

If you find any of these symptoms in your baby, avoid acidic food, and also make sure that the baby is in an upright position for at least 20 minutes after feeding. If the symptoms are extreme, it is recommended to consult a pediatrician.

Snoring

According to a recent study, around 15-25% of infants suffer from snoring. This is usually harmless, but in certain cases, it can lead to severe health issues. At times, habitual snoring in babies can be an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea. This will result in frequent arousals, irregular breathing, and restlessness during sleep. In some cases, babies with sleep apnea fail to wake up while facing breathing problems. This can be very dangerous, as it may also eventually lead to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Apart from sleep apnea, snoring in babies, who are around 8 months old, may also affect their proper mental development. So, if you find your baby snoring frequently for more than a week or so, better consult a pediatrician right away.

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Heart Diseases?

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Sleep Apnea And Heart Diseases

Sleep apnea can be simply defined as one of the most common sleeping disorders that results in a momentary stop in breathing, which happens regularly while you are asleep. If you or any of your loved ones are regular or loud snores, then there is a good chance of you developing this sleep disorder at some point in your life. Therefore, you will need to take necessary preventive steps to stop or reduce your snoring issues.

Most healthcare providers will initially ask you to make a few lifestyle changes and cut the consumption of dairy products to stop snoring. However, if these snoring solutions do not work for you, healthcare providers might ask you to use a snoring mouth guard while you are asleep. These efficient and medically proven snoring solutions will help you relieve yourself from snoring and sleep apnea at a rapid pace.

It is significant to note that some individuals hope that their snoring issues will be solved with the passage of time. The reality is that snoring issues will get a lot more dangerous if you fail to take necessary steps to prevent them. Moreover, recent studies conducted by experts in the field of medical science revealed a shocking conclusion that patients who suffer from sleep apnea are at a higher risk of falling prey to heart diseases.

An expert molecular cardiologist, David Van Wagoner, Ph.D. talked about the relation between sleep apnea and snoring and said, “It’s likely that sleep apnea can cause arrhythmias and heart failure because if you have sleep apnea, you tend to have higher blood pressure.” You might be a little bit surprised to hear the fact that approximately 50 percent of individuals with atrial fibrillation or heart failure have developed sleep apnea.

Reena Mehra, MD, Director of Sleep Disorders Research in the Sleep Center of the Neurologic Institute at Cleveland Clinic said, “There is a very strong association between sleep apnea and cardiac arrhythmia. Research also shows episodes of upper airway collapse in sleep apnea may trigger arrhythmia events.”

Dr. Mehra added, “It is important to note that typical obstructive sleep apnea symptoms such as daytime sleepiness are sometimes absent in heart failure. Also, symptoms of central sleep apnea are oftentimes more difficult to detect.”

How Overbite in Children Causes Snoring

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Overbite in Children

Braces put on teeth not only straighten teeth misalignments, but may also correct a misaligned jaw in children. If your child has an underbite, crossbite, or even an overbite, they will have braces put on teeth to change physical appearance due to being beauty conscious, especially in the public eye.

An excessive overbite makes the lower jaw to recede into the back of the mouth during sleep and that may block the upper throat and the airway that supplies oxygen to the lungs. This will cause breathing difficulties when your child sleeps. When he or she inhales air while asleep, the throat tissues and the roof of the mouth vibrate due to the constricted airflow, and that leads to snoring.

The jaw misalignment and obstructive sleep apnea are related in the sense that if snoring is left untreated it will cause the sleep disorder. Apnea in children is characterized by heavy breathing, loud snoring, breathing pauses, and snorts. The partial blockage of the airway causes a reduction in the oxygen levels in the blood. In fact, it is seen that malocclusion may also lead to snoring and other sleep disorders.

Call it a blessing in disguise, but one of the remedies for mild to moderate apnea with loud snoring is the braces put on teeth. It helps correct the malocclusion in children, which can itself reduce breathing difficulty and alleviate snoring. Further, since the mandible of children is small it can also narrow down the airway opening.

Once the overbite gets corrected by wearing braces as per the duration recommended by the doctors or close to that, the upper airway will open to an extent and your child will have a better sleep in comparison. Moreover, as per the severity of overbite and the age of the kid, the braces are put on teeth alongside an orthodontic retainer.

For instance, older kids tend to rely on orthognathic surgery in order to correct the misalignments in the jaw or skeletal disharmonies linked to apnea. The surgeons performing the corrective jaw surgery use a series of screws and plates to hold the jaws in a secured position. This is done to clear the improperly aligned jaws in older children. However, if your child cannot bear the pain of such surgeries to clear an overbite, it is better to wear braces as recommended.

What Mothers Need to Know about Breastfeeding and OSA

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Breastfeeding And OSA

It is a clinically proven fact that improving the structure of the upper airway will give a free flow of air and improve breathing with less snoring. That is why many people wear a mouthpiece for sleep apnea before bedtime to advance the lower jaw forward and clear the partial blockage in the back of the throat.

In fact, even breastfeeding contributes to the tongue’s swallowing movement, right teeth alignment, and shapes the hard palate’s shape. However, feeding children through bottle or if they suck the thumb at a young age may lead to a ‘tongue thrust’ and improper positioning of the teeth when jaws stay closed. Malocclusion, alongside a high amount of palate in the mouth, adversely affects the airflow and hence may lead to a sleep disorder known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea in children, which may cause them to gasp for breath at night.

Breastfeeding will potentially avoid this root cause. Some surveys suggest that a majority of the children aged between 12 to 17 encounter some sort of ‘occlusal disharmony’ or incorrect teeth positioning, and that a lesser percent of youth face malocclusion that mandates treatment. However, other studies show a direction connection between the duration of breastfeeding among young kids and occlusion.

It is seen that the longer children are breastfed, the better will their teeth positioning. Contrary to that is the practice of bottle-feeding alongside said bad habits of kids that may cause malocclusion. A tall mouth palate might affect occlusion in children and influence their breathing process in the near future. It may also narrow down the upper teeth arch and lead to a cross-bite, a form of malocclusion or misalignment of teeth’s arches.

As the mouth’s roof also happens to be the floor of the nasal cavity, an increase in the palate’s height reduces the nasal cavity’s size. This reduction of the nasal cavity may lead to resistance of airway via the nose. High palate may cause narrowing of the skull opening at the nose’s back known as choanae.

A narrow opening result in a much smaller opening into soft tissues of the nasal airway, and the narrow is the opening of the airway, the adverse would be the risk of airway collapsing and snoring. In order to avoid such instances, it is best to practice breastfeeding children at a young age so that OSA and snoring can be avoided with caution.

How Sleep Apnea is Linked to Hearing Loss

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Sleep Apnea And Hearing Loss

Sleep apnea has a perceivable effect on the hearing health of an individual. Since the ear remains connected to the nose and throat by the Eustachian tube, there are more reasons to think the impact of prolonged sleep apnea on the ear. Several studies conducted over the years have validated that there exists a solid link between sleep apnea and hearing loss. Some of the results produced from these studies are quite alarming, as it states that there is an increased possibility of hearing loss among individuals that experience the symptoms of sleep apnea.

There is also the risk of a high frequency hearing among individuals prone to sleep apnea. If left untreated it can lead to a permanent hearing loss in an individual. Therefore, it is better to diagnose the ear health by a trained Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialist if an individual experience any symptoms of sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea and Hearing Loss

Sleep apnea affects the functioning of the ear in a passive manner. Its most powerful impact is on the circulatory system of an individual that can cause it extensive damage. While a person is experiencing sleep apnea, it can result in the blood vessels to become disturbed due to the pauses in breathing and other irregularities. This can affect the normal blood flow to the inner ear that will prevent it from functioning properly.

There is also the presence of loud snoring along with sleep apnea that can continue for a long time during sleep. The ears being active during sleep can become disturbed due to the loud snoring sound. This can actually damage the sensitive hair cells located in the inner ear that helps in hearing. Besides, the change in air pressure that happens during sleep apnea and snoring can also cause damage to the eardrums.

Treatment

Treating hearing issues associated with sleep apnea first requires a two-step approach. The first is addressing the sleep apnea problem and relieving it so that it causes no interference with the functioning of the ear. This is important since sleep apnea can persist even after treating the ear, thus repeating the issues.

Using anti snoring devices is the best option to alleviate sleep apnea in affected individuals. They position the airways in such a way that it facilitates easy breathing during sleep, which prevents snoring or sleep apnea in the first place. Snoring devices are an effective and affordable option to permanently cure sleep apnea. t

The second step is to consult a hearing specialist, while undergoing the treatment for sleep apnea, and determine the health of the ear to follow the necessary medications.