Do You Snore? You May Actually Have Sleep Apnea
Snoring is a typical issue for individuals of all ages as well as both genders and affects around 90 million adults in the U.S. alone. Snoring can occur either intermittently or nightly. People who are most at risk include individuals who are overweight and males. However, snoring is an ongoing problem for both males and females, although it’s possible that females don’t complain as often as men do. The problem can result in un-refreshing and fragmented sleep that leads to poor functioning throughout the day (sleepiness and fatigue). Nearly 50 percent of all people who noisily snore have what’s known as obstructive sleep apnea.
Why Do People Snore?
The noisy and often annoying sounds of snoring happen when there’s an obstruction to the airway through the passageways located at the back of the nose and mouth. This space is the collapsible area of the air passageway where the upper throat and tongue join the uvula and soft palate. When these key structures hit one another and vibrate while breathing, snoring occurs.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring could be a symptom of a much more serious disorder called obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. The condition is characterized by several episodes of paused breathing that can last as long as 10 seconds per pause, which is caused by the collapse or narrowing of the upper airway. This leads to lower oxygen levels in the blood, which ultimately makes the heart work harder overall. It’s also a great nuisance to a person’s natural sleep cycle, interrupting REM sleep cycles and making them feel sluggish and tired in spite of going to bed early. CPAPMan and similar manufacturers have designed “continuous positive airway pressure” devices designed to open airways and prevent the snoring that is a distinguishing feature of sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea and Sleeping Disorders
Nearly half of all average adults occasionally snore, while 25 percent snore habitually. Problem snoring is more typical in overweight individuals and in males and often gets worse with age. Snoring could be a sign of obstructed breathing and should be taken seriously. An otolaryngologist has the role of finding the anatomic source of a patient’s snoring and can offer helpful solutions to correct this frequently embarrassing and irritating behavior.
Because a person who snores doesn’t rest well at night, they’ll often feel sleepy the next day. This could eventually affect their overall job performance and make them a risk for operating heavy equipment or driving on the job. Obstructive sleep apnea left untreated greatly increases the chance of developing a stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and several other significant medical issues. Therefore, snoring can be a very serious matter and you should talk to your doctor to find a solution.
About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.
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