Snoring is extremely common, and it's estimated that between 30 and 50% of adults snore and as many as 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Snoring is both uncomfortable and disruptive for your sleep and for those who sleep near you, but it can also lead to serious side effects to your overall health. These are just a few of the hidden dangers of snoring.
Chronic snoring and blocked airways can cause you to wake dozens of times during the night. And you may not even be fully aware of it. These constant disruptions in the sleep cycle result in much less restful sleep.
The poor quality of sleep associated with chronic snoring often leads to fatigue during the day, causing poor motor skills, difficulty concentrating, links to anxiety and depression, and chronic headaches that are most common in the morning.
When the back of the throat collapses during an episode of sleep apnea, it creates pressure changes that can cause stomach acids to move back up the esophagus and lead to acid reflux symptoms.
People who suffer from sleep apnea often stop breathing repeatedly during sleep for ten seconds or longer. This prevents the brain and the rest of the body from receiving adequate levels of oxygen. The blood vessels in the lungs can then constrict, leading to high blood pressure in the arteries connecting the heart and the lungs, a serious condition known as pulmonary hypertension.
There have been many links made between snoring and cardiovascular health, including arrhythmia, enlarged heart, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, and increased risk of heart attacks.
Studies have shown an association between the length and intensity of snoring with an increased likelihood of carotid atherosclerosis. This is a hardening of the arteries in the neck, which can significantly increase the chances of suffering a stroke.
Sleep is necessary for helping the body to balance insulin levels, and disrupted sleep due to sleep apnea has been linked to a higher incidence of diabetes.
Sleep Better Austin specializes in offering treatment for chronic snoring and sleep apnea, and Dr. Hedgecock will work with you to find the best solution for your individual needs and to help you get a restful night's sleep. If you'd like to learn more about how you can treat your sleep apnea, contact us today to schedule a consultation.