Man snoring in bed with wife

Be on the Alert with These Snoring Red Flags!

Occasional snoring is rarely a problem, but if you have been told you snore regularly, you may have a serious but preventable sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be a health hazard!

Did you know that if left untreated, OSA can lead to numerous health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, heart arrhythmias, stroke, and diabetes, to name a few?

Over the years, in my Sleep Dentistry practice, I have gathered a list of signals that may point to the need for seeking further medical evaluation.

Look for these symptoms when snoring!

Here are a few of the various signals I have observed from my patients when they snore regularly AND have any one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Family history of Obstructive Sleep Apnea 
  2. Self-awakenings that disrupt your sleep
  3. Your sleep is disrupting others who are sleeping
    • Spouse, kids, or even when your friends have commented that they don’t want to share a room with you
  4. Unexplained fatigue or daytime sleepiness
    • Sometimes falling asleep at rest, watching tv, driving or even during meetings
  5. Difficulty losing weight or unexplained weight gain
  6. Morning headaches
  7. Told by others that you stop breathing while sleeping
  8. Awakening unrested
  9. Irritable and personality changes
  10. Depression symptoms- if adult
  11. Concentration or brain fog issues on a consistent basis
  12. Tossing and turning during sleep
  13. Insomnia symptoms
  14. In children:
    • ADHD like symptoms or poor concentration
    • Restless sleep
    • Hard to arouse from sleep in the morning
    • Bedwetting

These are just a few red flags I often see in my patients who have OSA.

Food for thought if you snore regularly:

If you snore regularly and have one or more of the above symptoms, it would be wise to seek out a medical consult to be evaluated for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Most likely, your physician will order a Sleep Study to assess you further.

A comprehensive medical evaluation by your primary care physician is usually the place to start. From here, you may be referred to a certified sleep physician, an ENT or directly for a sleep test evaluation.

It is most important to note, if you have any one of these signals, even in the absence of all the other signals, it is wise to seek a consultation by a doctor.

Blog Alert – Finding a Sleep Dentist and Sleep Test questions:
What Kind of Physician Should I Seek to Find Out if I Have Apnea?
What Should You Know BEFORE Getting Medically Evaluated or Scheduled for a Sleep Test?
Not All Sleep Dentists Are Created Equally: Where to Find a Qualified Snoring- Sleep Apnea Trained Dentist

Interesting findings on Obstructive Sleep Apnea!

I have found in my practice that many times symptoms of OSA are often not directly correlated with the severity of the condition.

The amount or severity does NOT necessarily reflect the level of apnea severity.

For example, patients with severe OSA may often feel energetic and not show any signs of daytime sleepiness or poor sleep. While others who may have several symptoms, including unexplained daytime sleepiness, may have mild OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) or even UARS (Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome), often a precursor to OSA.

There are treatment options for Chronic Snoring!

Chronic snoring can be easily treated with several options, but a thorough medical assessment is suggested first to confirm your diagnosis.

If you are diagnosed with OSA, there are options that can help – CPAP, surgery or oral dental devices may be discussed as treatment options.

If you have been evaluated and found not to have obstructive sleep apnea, the use of custom dental devices or oral appliance therapy is often considered the ideal treatment.

Many patients are not aware that they don’t have to be diagnosed with OSA to use dental mouthguards. Using such a device can also help someone who only suffers from snoring only.

One thing is for sure, if you are suffering from any of the signals above, take the time to get evaluated – it just might save your life!

Need more help? Want to learn more?

Let me help you learn more about how your custom made dental device can help you to have better control over your snoring, sleep apnea, daytime tiredness and improve your overall health.

Take a quick look at my sleep guide to learn more!

Other Articles of Interest:
Oral Devices 101
Understanding how snoring can affect your sleep
How does Sleep Apnea affect your health

This article is general in nature and for educational purposes only. Please consult with your sleep health provider before starting any treatment option for snoring and apnea.