Not everyone who snores has a health problem, particularly when snoring is occasional and disturbs no one. However, snoring is often a symptom of a potentially serious sleep disorder that could lead to other chronic health issues.
Yet, snoring is so common for many people, it may seem as though it’s a normal part of everyday life.
Treatment and lifestyle changes could help you reduce the frequency and impact of snoring on your health and your lifestyle. The ear, nose, and throat specialists at Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates in Lawrence and Ottawa can help diagnose and treat the underlying causes affecting you.
Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t ignore snoring.
You may not be aware that snoring is disturbing your sleep cycle. Your sleep has patterns that are essential for your body’s repair and revitalization, and if these cycles don’t progress in a normal and healthy way, long-term effects can be worse than gaining weight or having high cholesterol.
The culprit is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), with snoring as a symptom. Snoring is caused by soft tissue in the throat vibrating due to the acceleration of air through narrowing of your airways. As this soft tissue collapses, it can completely block your breathing.
Your brain wakes you just enough so that you can move and restart your breath. You may never be aware of partial waking, which could be happening hundreds of times per night.
However, these disturbances keep you from achieving enough of the deepest cycles of sleep. You become chronically fatigued, even when you seem to be getting enough hours of rest.
It’s not only your sleep that’s at risk. The noise of snoring can be severe enough to disturb those close to you, setting off a cycle of sleep disorders for them.
Since air can’t get to your lungs efficiently while you’re snoring, blood oxygen levels can drop. Your body responds to low blood oxygen by pumping blood harder, creating high blood pressure. This can lead to aneurysms, hardening of the arteries, and thickened heart muscles.
If heart disease, high blood pressure, and hardened arteries aren’t enough, OSA can result from, as well as cause, chronic health conditions like Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke, and dementia.
You know how hard it is to get through the occasional day when sleep the night before was hard to come by. OSA could make every day one of sleepiness and fatigue.
When you find yourself nodding off in the middle of activities, or if you fall asleep within seconds of hitting the pillow at night, you may be suffering from the chronic sleep disturbances caused by OSA.
Contact Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates by phone at their most convenient office. They can diagnose OSA and determine what you need to stop snoring and start getting the rest you need. Book your consultation now.