top of page
Man Sleeping

Snoring & Sleep Apnea

A Noisy Partner or a Real Health Issue

About one in every five patients have sleep apnea.  While often associated with overweight middle-aged men, sleep apnea also occurs in women and in young and fit individuals as the structure of our jaws as well as tongue and back of throat can also lead to this problem. 


Not all snorers suffer from sleep apnea,

but all patients with sleep apnea snore. While sleeping next to a snorer may be irritating, the patient is only a "danger to himself" if the snoring is loud and with an irregular pattern, almost as it he is choking. This may indicate that the patient may have momentarily stopped breathing and leads to a reduction in the oxygen level in our blood (which should ideally have at least 95 per cent oxygen). Long -term deprivation of oxygen below the 90% level is not healthy for our body.

What happens to our body when we "choke" in our sleep

When snorers "chokes" in their sleep, it is in fact the body trying to wake itself. This "choking" effect causes a rapid increase in heart rate and a surge in blood pressure which eventually leads to hypertension and heart disease. Treatment in this case is required.


What's Next

  • Speak to your dentist, doctor or ENT surgeon about snoring and the treatment options available

  • They will usually recommend a home-based, overnight "Sleep Study" which is a simple device used to record your sleep cycle.

How do we manage snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea

  • Reduce weight

  • Avoid alcohol or medication that aids sleep as these relax the muscles at the back of the throat and cause obstruction

  • Avoid eating late at night and especially acidic foods as it may lead to regurgitating further affecting your airway.

  • Sleep on one side or on the stomach, instead of facing up, to prevent the tongue and soft palate from collapsing against the back of the throat

  • Clear a blocked nose with medication recommended by a doctor or pharmacist

  • Use dental appliances that reposition the lower jaw and tongue during sleep

  • Ask your dentist, doctor or ENT surgery about "Nightlase" which is a quick and painless procedure to tighten the the tissues in your mouth and throat allowing more space for airflow. 

For moderate to severe sleep apnea

  • Use a CPAP device to keep the airways open during sleep

  • Undergo surgery to enlarge the back of the throat

source: SingHealth ​Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Fast Facts and Tips

bottom of page