It is estimated that about 90 million Americans have a bit of a snoring problem. Sometimes, snoring is something that we do only when we’re congested from a cold or temporary sinus issue. Many of those 90 million snorers out there may never experience adverse reactions to their snoring habit. According to studies, though, up to half of the people who snore regularly do so because of a sleep disorder. If there is any suspicion or evidence that snoring is affecting general health and wellness (such as being tired most of the day or waking up with headaches), it becomes a matter to discuss with your doctor. The condition may indicate something that requires a doctor’s care.
Snoring that is related to allergies can be spotted in its timing. If there is a particular season of the year in which your eyes itch, your nose waters, and you’re sneezing more, you may be coming into contact with an allergen. Allergies cause swelling in the sinuses and nasal passageways that may be less noticeable during the day but uncomfortably present at nighttime. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that allergies only occur in the springtime! Different allergens are also pretty active at this time of year. By receiving treatment for allergies, chances are your snoring may lighten up, too.
Snoring and sleep apnea go hand-in-hand. These bedfellows are related because people who have sleep apnea tend to snore loudly. If the person with sleep apnea sleeps with or near another, that person is often woken up by the sounds. In addition to snoring, though, the person with sleep apnea also has moments of silence. These are followed by gasping or choking sounds. Pauses indicate a lapse in breathing. The most common type of this sleep disorder is obstructive sleep apnea, which may be treated with CPAP treatment.
Snoring, especially with sleep apnea and pauses in breathing, poses a very real risk to cardiovascular health. Therefore, cardiac stress is a concern for people who do not see their doctor to find out why they are snoring and what they may need to do about it. When a person has sleep apnea, they experience multiple episodes of non-respiration every time they sleep. With obstructive sleep apnea, this happens because the airway is blocked with soft tissue. When breathing stops, heart rate increases and the brain releases adrenaline to wake the sleeper. The chemical and physical reaction to an apnea episode places a strain on the heart, and may lead to irregular heart rhythm at some point.
Snoring is not a condition to take lightly. Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center has an outstanding Ear, Nose, and Throat department to provide the care you need to live a healthy life. Contact us for more information.