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Could My Snoring be Sleep Apnea?

The most common symptom of sleep apnea is loud snoring.
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    WASHINGTON, DC, December 22, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The most common symptom of sleep apnea is loud snoring. Sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction of your airways. When you are in a prone position, your airways naturally constrict to some degree. If you have sleep apnea, this constriction will be more exaggerated, resulting in loud, labored breathing.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:

- Daytime sleepiness
- Frequent headaches
- Waking up and not feeling refreshed
- Night sweats
Some symptoms of sleep apnea may only be noticed by a loved one or roommate. These include:

- Nighttime choking
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Frequent periods of breathlessness during sleep
- Restlessness or tossing and turning in your sleep
If your loved one brings any of these symptoms to your attention, it is important to see a dentist for a sleep apnea evaluation.

Identifying Sleep Apnea

When you visit a dentist for a sleep apnea evaluation, they will listen carefully to all of your symptoms. There are certain factors that make a person more prone to sleep apnea including obesity, smoking, and heavy alcohol use. Your dentist will look to these things as further indication of the disorder. Sleep apnea may also be a result of heart disease, brain tumors, or a stroke. Your dentist will need to know if you have a history of these conditions in order to fully diagnose sleep apnea.

Treatment for sleep apnea is very simple. Your dentist can customize a device similar to a sports mouth guard that will reposition your tongue and jaw to allow optimal airflow during your sleep. This device is comfortable and unobtrusive, and is successful in treating the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Lifestyle changes can also help treat sleep apnea. If you smoke, stop. Drink only in moderation, and get at least two hours of moderate exercise a week. Exercise combined with a healthy diet can not only reduce instances of sleep apnea, it can reduce your risk of developing diseases that can lead to the disorder.

Working closely with an experienced sleep apnea dentist is the best way to begin treating this common disorder. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to an increased risk for numerous diseases, as well as interfering with proper mental functioning. With simple steps, you can once again enjoy a sound, refreshing night's sleep.

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of sleep apnea in or around Washington DC, Maryland or Northern Virginia, please visit the website of Washington Center for Dentistry for more information at

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