Snoring is the result of partially blocked airways in the nose and mouth, and is a common problem for many of our patients in the Austin area. It generally does not cause major health problems unless the obstruction is severe enough to cause you to stop breathing in your sleep. When this occurs, it is called 'sleep apnea', and there are three types that individuals can suffer from.
The first type of sleep apnea is called 'obstructive sleep apnea' or OSA. Sufferers of OSA experience blocked airways to the nose and mouth during sleep, but the throat and abdominal breathing function is able to continual normally.
The second type of sleep apnea is called 'central sleep apnea' or CSA. CSA is different than OSA because it is caused when the brain's signal to breathe is delayed. When this happens, oral, throat, and abdominal breathing all cease for a few seconds at a time. CSA is less common and usually happens as the result of a stroke or heart attack.
The third type of sleep apnea is when an individual suffers from a combination of CSA and OSA. This is referred to as 'mixed sleep apnea' and is also far more rare than OSA alone.
Sleep Apnea Information
To treat snoring and sleep apnea, Dr. Holley can examine the features of your mouth and throat and recommend a fitted dental appliance or jaw adjustment device that will ensure your airways remain open while asleep.