A lot of people snore, so many in fact that it has become a common part of our daily lives. According to WebMD, snoring occurs when the flow of air from the mouth or nose to your lungs causes the airway tissue to vibrate, this can either be from an obstruction or a narrowing of the nose, mouth, or throat. While it is common to snore, can snoring be a part of a larger issue?
Snoring is one of the most common signs of sleep apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder and can become very dangerous if left untreated. A person with sleep apnea may stop breathing frequently during the night which could prevent the brain and rest of the body from getting the oxygen necessary to properly function. Sleep apnea could create several complications including:
Someone with sleep apnea may wake up frequently throughout the night causing restless night and intense fatigue throughout the day. Sleep is necessary to restore the body and REM sleep is vital to proper overall health, not having sufficient sleep due to sleep apnea may prevent the body from working properly.
People with sleep apnea may also have a very light sleep, the slightest sounds and movements could prevent them from sleeping properly throughout the night, which could affect decision making and motor functions throughout the day.
If left untreated, sleep apnea may cause high blood pressure and this could further lead to enlargement of the heart. Heart enlargement is a very serious condition which often leads to heart attacks and strokes.
The only way to properly diagnose sleep apnea is through a sleep study. In a sleep study, the sleep technician will place sensors in your body that will alert the physician of any possible signs of sleep apnea. While snoring is common, it could be part of a much larger and dangerous condition. Proper treatment of sleep apnea could lead to better, more restful sleep, and could prevent serious illnesses like heart attacks and strokes.
If you, or a loved one, is a habitual snorer and you have any questions in regards to this or other sleeping disorders please call Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine at 8154777350 to schedule an appointment today.