Is Snoring a Distress Signal?
Snoring is the sound made when your body cannot move air freely through your nose and throat while you sleep. Occasional snoring may happen when you have a cold or allergies. Chronic snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Obstructive sleep apnea is when the soft tissues of your mouth collapse upon your airway causing an obstruction to your breathing. OSA is most common in middle-aged men who are overweight, but it is a common sleep disorder among all genders, ages, and sizes. Sleep apnea can lead to a number of health risks when left untreated.
Higher Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
Obstructive sleep apnea disrupts the way that oxygen enters your bloodstream. Your brain and heart can begin to have trouble regulating the oxygen in the bloodstream with constant disruptions. This kind of stress on the brain and heart can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Stress and High Blood Pressure
The several tiny suffocations throughout the night caused by OSA can cause your body to go into a state of stress. Stress can cause your hormone regulation to go haywire, and your blood pressure to rise. Studies have shown that people with blood pressure caused by sleep apnea have shown a lowered blood pressure after sleep apnea treatment.
Drowsiness and Mood Swings
Constant disruptions in your sleep from a lack of oxygen can prevent you from ever reaching the deepest, most restful part of your sleep cycle. You may feel sleepy or drowsy all the time, which can cause problems with your work or even driving to work. Being tired all the time can cause you to be grumpy or suffer mood swings. If you sleep near other people, your chronic snoring can disturb their sleep causing them to be drowsy or moody, too.
Your dentist can fit you for an oral appliance which can prevent the soft tissues of your mouth from collapsing into your airway.