Snoring and Sleep Apnea Center of Greater New York
49-33 Little Neck Parkway, Little Neck, NY 11362
132 East 76th Street, Suite 2A, New York, NY, 10021
Tongue in normal position, breathing through the nose, keeps the airway open during sleep to allow normal breathing.
During sleep, the jaw and tongue tend to relax and fall back toward the throat. This reduction in size of the airway will, in some individuals, cause the throat tissues to vibrate. Air being forced through this narrowed opening and the vibrations cause the noises we know as snoring. Snoring can be a sign of an underlying medical disorder known as sleep apnea. Untreated snoring may increase a person’s risk for the development of sleep apnea.
Complete blockage of the airway occurs as the base of the tongue falls back against the palate forcing it against the airway back wall.
Sleep apnea occurs when the jaw and tongue fall back against the throat to an extent that the airway closes during sleep. During the closure it sometimes appears as if the person is trying to breath, but no air passes through to the lungs. Eventually, seconds to over a minute, the brain will wake to a lighter sleep stage and the muscles will tighten opening the airway allowing the person to breathe again, the person is rarely aware of these sleep interruptions.