When Snoring Points to a Bigger Problem
- Posted on: Jun 30 2018
Snoring is a problem, are we right? Maybe not the periodic, light snore that happens when we’ve had a particularly long day; maybe not the snoring that occurs when we have a cold or when our allergies act up. Snoring that goes on all night long, night after night, though, that’s a problem. You may already know this. You may have been told by someone close to you that your snoring is a problem. While it can be frustrating to see that you are costing your partner a good night’s sleep, chronic disruptive snoring might also be harming your health.
For people who snore every night, it is essential to explore the potential that snoring is more than an aggravating habit. In some cases, snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. This condition is a sleep disorder that can lead to secondary health concerns, many of them serious. Obstructive sleep apnea may look like snoring on the surface, but on more in-depth investigation, pauses in breathing can be noticed. Herein lies the problem.
How to Recognize Sleep Apnea
There are a few clues that can provide you with sufficient evidence that you may need treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. These include:
- You never seem to get enough sleep. If you cannot get to the coffee pot fast enough in the morning, and you find yourself relying on caffeine to get through the day, you’re getting clues to your quality of sleep. Many people with obstructive sleep apnea fall asleep nearly as soon as they sit down. The reason for chronic daytime fatigue is that the body never fully reaches deep states of sleep due to frequent episodes during which breathing stops.
- Morning headaches are a regular occurrence. We aren’t meant to wake up in pain. When we sleep, the body naturally regenerates cells and heals tissues. For the person with obstructive sleep apnea, this isn’t happening. Furthermore, the mouth-breathing and lack of oxygenation that occurs as often as several times per hour seem to have a direct effect on the head.
- Your blood pressure is high. It is not a stretch to see how obstructive sleep apnea and its frequent bouts of non-respiration can affect blood pressure. When the airway closes under the pressure of muscles around the windpipe, the body enters a stress state. The brain produces a jolt of adrenaline. The blood vessels constrict in a natural fight or flight reaction. Each of these functions contributes to elevated blood pressure, which can last long after you wake up.
In our office near Philadelphia, you can obtain a comprehensive exam and sleep study to determine if obstructive sleep apnea is behind chronic snoring. For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of this condition, contact us online or call (610) 649-0696.
Posted in: Sleep Apnea