Is Snoring Dangerous To Your Health?

The recommended hours of sleep for an adult to recharge and restore their full energy is seven to eight hours per night. However, the amount of sleep varies especially for those people who snore and for their partners who sleep intermittently because of the noise.

Sleep disruption affects everyday function because it causes someone to be irritated, restless and tired. Snorers are often not aware that they snore until they wake themselves up or their partner wakes them up.

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What is snoring?

Based on the medical definition of Mayo Clinic, snoring is the hoarse or harsh sound that occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe.

National Sleep Foundation states that snoring is noisy breathing during sleep, and it is common problem among all ages and both genders, and it affects approximately 90 million American adults — 37 million on a regular basis.

Although many women also snore, the majority of habitual snorers are men. Those who sleep on their backs are most likely to snore as well as those who are overweight, and it becomes common as you age.

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Snoring occurs when there is airflow obstruction like:

  • Obstructed Nasal Airways – persons who have allergies, sinus infection, deviated septum or nasal polyps.
  • Poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue – throat and tongue muscles too relaxed because of alcohol consumption and use of sleeping pills.
  • Bulky Throat Tissue – children with large tonsils and adenoid often snore, and overweight also causes bulky throat tissue.
  • Long soft palate and/or uvula when the long soft palate or the long uvula vibrate and bump against one another, the airway becomes obstructed, so snoring occurs.

Is snoring a serious disorder?

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Sleepeducation.org. states that light snoring does not interrupt overall sleep quality, while heavy snoring may be associated with obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious sleep disorder that causes you to temporarily stop breathing when you are asleep and if snoring is paired with choking or gasping sound, you may have sleep apnea. 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Complications

  • Daytime sleepiness and difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent frustration or anger
  • high blood pressure, heart conditions, and stroke
  • Low oxygen levels in the blood. This can lead to constricted blood vessels in the lungs and eventually pulmonary hypertension.
  • Chronic headaches.
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What is the treatment for obstructive sleep apnea?

Polysomnography, also called a sleep study, is a test used to diagnose sleep disorders. Polysomnography records your brain waves, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements during the study.

Lifestyle changes like limiting alcohol intake and losing weight can help avoid sleep apnea. Sleeping on your side and raising the head of your bed also helps or lessen the possibility of heavy snoring.  

Early detection of the underlying health issues and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea can improve the quality and the quantity of sleep of a person. Waking up rested and ready to face the day because of a night of good sleep can contribute a significant change in a person’s mindset.

Source: WebMD

Tags: obstructive sleep apnea, pulmonary hypertension, sleep study, sinus infection , deviated septum