October 2016

Common Sleep Disorders – Simple Snoring

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Snores No More - Don McLaughlin

Let’s first talk about the simplest and the least harmful sleep disorder: simple snoring. Simple or nuisance snoring is just a partial, mild upper airway collapse. More than 40 million adults snore. “Simple” or nuisance snoring is harmless unless it bothers the sleep of your bed partner. If the bed partner’s sleep is affected by this snoring, their health can truly be altered. While snoring is more common in men, many women also keep their bed partners awake.

In susceptible people, when enough muscle relaxation occurs, the tongue presses on the flabby tissue at the back of the throat and the airway starts collapsing. The air rushes through this narrowed airway space and the increased air turbulence causes the flabby tissue to flap back and forth, causing the annoying sound we know as snoring. As many as half of adults snore at least occasionally.

Sometimes snoring may indicate a serious health condition. Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol close to bedtime or sleeping on your side, can help stop snoring.

Oral appliance therapy is extremely effective in helping these suffering bed partners.

How Common is OSAS?

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Don McLaughlin - Sleep Facts

How Common is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS)?

  • This is the most serious of the three categories of sleep disorders we will talk about.
  • In a study by the National Sleep Foundation, 67% of adults reported that their partner snores.
  • Many couples sleep separately to minimize the problems caused by chronic loud snoring.
  • It’s estimated that 20% of men and 5% of women in their thirties snore; 60% of men and 40% of women in their sixties snore; and 40% of adults older than 40 snore (approx. 87 million Americans). ­ About 35% of habitual snorers are estimated to have obstructive sleep apnea (OSAS), which is a staggering percentage of the population.
  • However, of most concern is the fact that about 80­90% of people with OSAS are not diagnosed, implying that a significant number of snorers have undiagnosed OSAS.
  • Twenty­five percent of men and 10% of women suffer from some form of OSAS (approx. 30 million Americans).
  • Fewer than 10% of OSAS sufferers have been diagnosed (approx. 3 million Americans). ­ Of those diagnosed with OSAS, fewer than 25% have been successfully treated.