If you or your partner snores, it can be tempting to seek short term solutions like separate sleeping arrangements, a nose strip, or earplugs. However, the bothersome noise can often be indicative of a much larger health problem.
What causes snoring?
For healthy sleepers, air flows easily through the nose and mouth and allows for normal, quiet breathing. Snoring occurs when the airway is blocked or obstructed. There are a variety of factors that can cause snoring, including obesity, sinus infections, a long soft palate or uvula, alcohol consumption close to bedtime, sleeping pills, a deviated septum, or nasal polyps. If you or a loved one snore, it is best to speak to an ENT (ear nose and throat) doctor to properly diagnose your specific issue.
Who does snoring affect?
Anyone can be affected by snoring. Statistically, men are more likely than women to suffer from snoring, as are individuals who are overweight. Typically, snoring worsens with age, so it’s important to address the problem as early as possible.
Why is snoring a problem?
People who snore habitually can be at risk for a number of serious health problems. Sleep apnea is one of the most worrisome conditions caused by snoring, and can cause interruptions in breathing that last for more than 10 seconds. This results in frequent waking throughout the night and less restorative sleep. Snoring isn’t just problematic at night: many snorers suffer from fatigue, chronic headaches, and daytime drowsiness. Additionally, people who snore have higher blood pressure which can cause enlargement of the heart and heightened risk for heart attack and stroke.
If left untreated, sleep apnea that becomes severe can put a snorer at risk for an early death. Even snoring that is moderate or mild can predate heart disease or reduce sexual function, so it is best to have even minor snoring evaluated by a healthcare professional.
For more information on snoring or to schedule a consultation, give us a call at 1-931-455-2005.