Is Snoring a Warning Sign of OSA?
OSA stands for obstructive sleep apnea, which is a common sleep disorder affecting millions of Americans. OSA is when the soft tissues of your mouth and throat involuntarily collapse into your airway. This causes your airway to be obstructed and a lack of oxygen to reach your bloodstream. This type of tiny suffocation can happen several times a night, and while it may not make you fully wake up, it can disrupt your sleep cycle. Multiple disruptions in your sleep almost every night can lead to you feeling tired all the time, as well as putting you at risk for multiple health problems. Snoring is a symptom of OSA. But when do you know if your snoring is just snoring or if is a warning sign of OSA?
Simple Snoring or OSA?
Simple snoring can be caused by obesity, allergies or other sinus problems, advanced age, or alcohol consumption. The main difference between simple snoring and snoring caused by sleep apnea is the large disruptions in breathing. Simple snoring can partially block the airway to cause noise, but obstructive sleep apnea can cause complete blockages many times during the night. These obstructions may be marked by large gasps for air. Talk to your doctor or dentist about your snoring or for help determining the source of the issue.
Health Risks From OSA
Undergoing the stress of multiple bouts of suffocation during the night can put a toll on your body. Your heart may get used to the low amount of oxygen in your bloodstream, and start regulating your blood differently during all times. This can lead to high blood pressure, which increases your chances of stroke. Sleep apnea can also increase your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. The lack of restful sleep can also lead to moodiness, weight gain, and drowsiness for your job or driving. Treating sleep apnea can lower your risk of developing these complications.