Maybe this has happened to you. Maybe you don’t personally remember doing it, but your loved ones or your spouse have told you that you snore loudly, choke, cough and seem to wake up briefly, (and maybe often) throughout the night. Maybe this hasn’t happened to you, but you’ve seen it happen to a loved one.
Many people think snoring is, “no big deal.” Many people find the snoring family member to be a source of comedy and entertainment. However, snoring, choking, snorting and other sounds like this in the middle of the night can mean that something much worst is going on with your loved one’s health. In fact, it could be tied to a disease that can prove deadly or cause chronic health problems if left untreated called sleep apnea.
It’s extremely important for people that constantly experience symptoms like excessively loud snoring, choking, snorting and other loud disturbing sounds while they sleep to see a sleep physician to get a complete diagnosis. Only a qualified sleep physician can tell you if you have sleep apnea, so it’s best not to venture a guess or assumption.
Loud Snoring, Choking, Coughing and Snorting are Just Symptoms
The underlying body process that causes these symptoms is a scary one indeed. When a patient has sleep apnea, the muscles surrounding his airways relax. This causes the soft tissue in his airways to then relax and collapse. The tissue begins to block his airways and he can’t breathe for a brief time. In addition, if this wasn’t scary enough, this can happen to him 30 or more times every night. Not only is he sleeping and unable to take the actions he needs to protect himself, but he’s also not breathing at all. There are very few scarier places for a person to find himself in.
Dr. Avi Weisfogel has dedicated much of his career and life to raising awareness for sleep apnea and making sure people that have the disease receive the treatment they need to sleep safely.
Weisfogel founded an organization called Dental Sleep Masters in 2014. The organization combines the practices of dentists, doctors and sleep professionals to diagnose and address the problem of sleep apnea.