Have you ever been woken up in the middle of the night because your roommate’s snoring is as loud as a buzz saw or have you been told that you snore? If so, your snoring could be a warning signal about your health.
“It [snoring] causes problems with the family, it causes problems with your health and it doesn’t have to, it is a simple thing to fix,” Larry Twersky, CEO and founder of 1-800-snoring, said.
Snoring is an issue that affects many people including those who snore because getting restful and restoring Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep throughout the night is not truly achieved. It also has a huge impact as it causes daytime drowsiness, irritability and a lack of focus.
“This is a medical issue, it’s not a dental issue and while some dentists can really help out with this, it’s really a medical problem because it is about oxygen deprivation,” Twersky said.
“Sometimes it is assumed that when people snore, they should know that it is happening however, snoring is an issue that cannot be self-diagnosed.”
The causation of snoring is more than just noise, it is actuality more serious than most people think.
“Snoring is caused by the collapse of your airways,” Twersky said. “Basically the tongue is falling back at night; if people are sleeping on their back it causes it a little bit more. The tube collapses, it causes an airway stoppage and a lot of things can happen from that. So really that’s the cause and there’s a lot of ways to solve it.”
According to the article, ‘Snoring’ by WebMD, there are simple ways to treat snoring just by making small changes such as sleeping on your side and not on your back or losing excess weight. Sometimes a stuffy nose can make snoring worse so try using nose strips, decongestants or a nasal steroid spray. Another option is to use an oral device that can help you breathe easier by pushing your tongue and jaw forward to increase airflow.
However, if the snoring is to the point where you stop breathing, choke or even gasp during sleep, there might be a possibility of having sleep apnea, which is a serious problem.
“The biggest effect and the most permanent is death,” Twersky said. “Sleep apnea is full closure of the airways. If people are getting their airways closed and I have seen it happen in sleep reports, 60-70 times per hour per night, (meaning every hour on the hour) their airways are closing more than once a minute and those people are considered severe. Those people have a high likelihood of mortality at the same rate of mortality of dying as cancer and leukemia patients.”
Twersky also stated that it can contribute, exacerbate or even slightly cause diabetes, heart attack, hypertension or weight gain.
Sometimes the snoring can be so loud and unbearable that most people sleep in another room. However, Twersky points out that this type of arrangement is just ignoring the problem.
“Sleeping in another room could be even more dangerous, because you’re not hearing the person stop breathing,” Twersky said. “If they are sleeping alone, then there is no one to monitor them. Have them get tested but don’t sleep in a separate room, that’s ignoring the problem not taking care of the problem.”
If you or someone you know is a serious snorer, contact your doctor, dentist or call 1-800- snoring to take care of it