You might be tempted to dismiss snoring, especially because snoring is often played as a joke. Ha-ha, you make noise when you sleep. No big deal, right? Actually, it is. Snoring is an indicator that you’re not getting enough oxygen when you sleep. It is the most common warning that you have sleep apnea, which can be deadly. And snoring itself can be dangerous–the vibrations damage your arteries and may increase your stroke risk. Plus snoring is a leading contributor to divorce and domestic violence. Doesn’t sound as much like a joke now, does it?
Fortunately, there are snoring treatments available that can easily and comfortably eliminate your snoring.
The Cause of Snoring
Snoring, like all sound, is vibrations in the air. These vibrations can come from any part of your airway, though the most common sources of snoring are from the nose to the throat. These parts of your airway vibrate because the airflow is restricted. The most common metaphor is what happens when you partially block or kink a garden hose and the flow becomes burbled and uneven. This airflow vibrates parts of the soft tissue in your airway, such as your tongue or larynx. This creates the sound that is heard as snoring.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring is one of the most common warning signs of sleep apnea. Perhaps 70% of people with sleep apnea snore. Everyone who snores is considered at risk for sleep apnea, and the louder your snoring, the higher your risk.
If you are a snorer, you should be evaluated for sleep apnea. The only true test for sleep apnea is a sleep test, although this can often be performed in the comfort of your own home. You are most likely to have sleep apnea if your snoring is accompanied by symptoms such as:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Mood disorders such as depression
- Cognitive problems such as difficulty remembering
- Health conditions like high blood pressure
If you have these symptoms, it is very important that you get evaluated for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can increase your risk of early death by five times or more!
Dangers of Snoring
However, even without sleep apnea, snoring is associated with many serious risks. These include:
- Cardiovascular risks
- Poor sleep
- Car accidents
- Domestic violence
Sleep apnea is associated with many deadly cardiovascular problems, but simple snoring can be, too. When you snore, the vibrations in your throat can damage your arteries, which leads to scarring and hardening of the arteries. Hardened arteries are associated with many health problems such as stroke.
If you’re snoring, your body isn’t getting a free and open flow of air. This can make it hard to sleep peacefully. And the sound of your snoring may even be waking you up, although, as with sleep apnea, you may not notice.
Poor sleep can increase your risk of car accidents. It may make you more likely to doze off behind the wheel.
Poor sleep can also be a source of friction between you and your spouse. Both of you may be sleeping poorly, which can decrease your empathy and make you more likely to fight. And because you’re not getting rest, these fights are more likely to escalate into violent confrontations.
Effective, Convenient Snoring Treatment Is Available
You might think that snoring treatments don’t work.Maybe you’ve tried a few from the drugstore and believe they’re all ineffective. Or maybe you think that CPAP is your only option.
Well, it’s not. Comfortable, convenient oral appliances are great treatment options for snoring. They work and they’re easy to use. Even though over-the-counter remedies may look like good snoring solutions, there is no substitute for a custom-fitted snoring treatment.
Are you ready for an effective snoring treatment? Please call (314) 375-5353 (Downtown St. Louis) or (314) 678-7876 (Clayton) today for an appointment with sleep dentist Dr. Chris Hill at our downtown St. Louis or Clayton, MO location.