How Serious Is Snoring To Your Health?

Watching Out For Snoring Patterns

If 1 in 4 American males and 1 in 3 American females snore – that’s a huge company of snorers. So why do some people snore? According to some experts, we tend to lose muscle tone when we’re asleep. The tongue flops back and the tissues and muscles in the throat and nose relax. While inhaling and exhaling, air passing over and between these relaxed tissues causes them to vibrate, which in turn causes noise.

So why do some people snore and others don’t?

There are factors that play, for example, obesity in a person. Fat deposits at the base of the tongue and along the upper throat take up more space and can push in the muscles and block off air passage. Another is sleeping on your back, which can cause the tongue to sag into the throat where it may constrict air flow and increase the vibrations. Drinking alcohol can further relax the muscles and tissues of the airways, and so promote snoring.

Snoring can also be brought about by structural anomalies or differences in the immediate area. One example is a deviated septum. It’s that wall inside the nose that separates the nostrils. If it is askew, air circulation can be pinched off. If the uvula, that dangling tissue that hangs down in the back of the throat, happens to be longer than usual, it can relax and rest on the tongue, enabling snoring.

Sleep Apnea

While snoring is not a major problem in most cases, sometimes it is. If a person has sleep apnea of the obstructive type, which is extended breathing stoppages, it had been associated with an increase in cardiovascular disease risk, when there is snoring also. Snoring and sleep apnea may lead to intermittent hypoxia, insufficient oxygen in body tissues that can put unhealthy pressure changes inside the chest, cause arterial damage or blockages, and inflammation.

In obstructive sleep apnea, there can be complete lack of breathing for 10 seconds or longer. A breathing device, to use while sleeping, called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) ventilator can be the treatment along with weight loss. Surgery can also apply, if necessary.

Some snoring patterns may be suspicious, like if it sounds like a person has shallow breathing for a few seconds or often quits breathing for a while, accompanied by gurgling or choking and with some shaking – as if the body is trying to wake itself up – a doctor must be consulted. Sometimes, a non-snorer suddenly developing a new-onset severe snoring, it can be sign of an obstruction forming in an airway. So, see a doctor. Aside from watching your diet, you can downgrade your alcohol consumption, and try sleeping on your side instead.


Consulting Your Snoring in Bellevue

You might have sleep apnea and not know it and regard is as just plain snoring. See us at Overlake Dental for this concern and don’t ignore it.