The Nightly Grind
“While Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap
had just settled our heads for a long winter’s nap,
When up from the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter...”
We’re pretty sure that the clatter the man heard in Clement Moore’s The Night Before Christmas was his wife snoring. Anyone who shares a bed with a chronic snorer knows that snoring affects all the people in the bedroom, and maybe in the house (we aren’t sure how the children slept and dreamt of sugarplums through all the noise!)
Excessive snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a serious health risk; if you or someone in your home has a problem snoring, you should consult with your primary care doctor about a sleep study. The sleep study can provide vital information on your oxygen levels, and how often your snoring wakes you from sleep.
After the Sleep Study
If the study says that you have obstructive sleep apnea, you’ll have two options for treatment. The first, and what your doctor will probably assume you want, is a C-Pap, which will provide continuous, pressurized air flow all night through the use of a mask.
The main problem with a C-Pap set-up is the mask. People don’t like sleeping with it on their face, so they stop using it. But if your apnea is not severe, you may also have the option of a custom made dental appliance that aligns your jaw and airway to prevent the soft tissues from collapsing. It’s roughly the size of your palm, so it’s easy to carry and clean. After your sleep study, Dr. Jamsheed can consult with you about the possibility of an oral appliance. With his help, you can get back to your “long winter’s nap!”
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