What Are the Health Risks of Snoring?
You may think snoring is just a nuisance, but you may not realize that it’s a threat to your health and well-being. Snoring has been associated with many health risks, including some that are serious chronic diseases.
In this blog, the sleep medicine physicians of eos sleep diagnostics in Manhattan explain about the health risks of snoring.
What causes snoring?
Snoring occurs when the flow of air through your mouth and nose is partially blocked while you sleep. The sound your sleep partner hears when you snore is caused when the surrounding nasal and throat tissue vibrates.
The obstruction that causes snoring can be caused by one or more factors, including the following:
- Obstructed nasal airways – This can be caused by sinus infection, allergies, or structural deformities such as a deviated septum (a crooked or off-center wall of bone and cartilage that divides your two nostrils).
- Your mouth anatomy – You may naturally have a low, thick soft palate (roof of your mouth). Being overweight can also cause extra bulky tissue in the back of your throat.
- Alcohol or sleeping pills – These can relax throat muscles.
- Sleeping position – If you sleep on your back, gravity causes your airway to become narrowed.
- What are the health risks of snoring?
Snoring is associated with sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that’s characterized by repeated pauses in breathing throughout the night. It may be associated with the following health risks:
Snoring and sleep apnea put a strain on your heart. You may be at greater risk of developing an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), stroke, heart attack, or high blood pressure.
Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to an increase in blood glucose levels, which can make you more likely to develop diabetes. In addition, if you already have diabetes (many people with sleep apnea do), it can be more difficult to regulate your blood sugar.
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is characterized by stomach acid that backs up into your esophagus. This can be common among people who have sleep apnea because they may experience pressure changes in their throats that suck stomach acid back into the esophagus.
If you’re sleep deprived, you’re likely to be driving drowsy at some point. Studies have shown that drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, so it increases the chance that you’ll be in an accident. Workplace accidents are also more likely to occur, especially if you operate heavy machinery or other dangerous equipment on the job.
Frequent morning headaches have been associated with snoring and sleep apnea.
Anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression are health risks associated with depression, largely due to your lack of restorative sleep. You may also be more irritable and have trouble remembering and concentrating.
If you’re overweight, you’re more likely to have sleep apnea, but getting treatment can make it easier to lose weight.
If you snore, make an appointment today with eos sleep diagnostics in NYC. We’ll conduct a sleep study if needed to confirm or rule out the presence of sleep apnea. If you do have this sleep disorder, we’ll provide effective treatment that will also reduce your related health risks of snoring.