Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Why Snoring can be Dangerous
Snoring is always portrayed as a harmless, silly trait for a person to have. However, few know that there are many hidden dangers in what can seem to be an innocent snore. Snoring is your body’s method of letting you know that it is having trouble getting the oxygen it needs to carry out its basic functions. In addition, snoring can mask a greater problem known as obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when a snoring condition gets so bad that total blockage occurs in the airway. When this happens, the person is unable to get oxygen, and the body is unable to get any in for over 10 seconds. This can cause the person to wake up in the middle of the night a sweat, wake up gasping for air, or wake up choking. People with sleep apnea often wake up the next morning with sore throats or headaches. This is due to the lack of oxygen that your body is getting. On top of that, the numerous times you wake up in the middle of the night really do damage to your sleep patterns.
Sleep apnea causes a lack of REM sleep, which can result in grogginess and a lack of concentration the next day. Your body is not getting the required rest that it needs, because it is too busy being worried about getting oxygen. This can translate to poor performance at work or school, difficulty concentrating on simple tasks, and a general state of irritability that can cause irreparable damage to both your social life and your job.
In addition to the short-term affects of being afflicted with sleep apnea, if the syndrome is left untreated, the sufferer bears a greater risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, significant weight gain can occur during an OSA affliction. Higher blood pressure is often found in people with OSA, as well as a lower blood-oxygen level. This forces the heart to work harder, and can result in such long-term problems as an enlarged heart.
Fortunately, there are ways of helping obstructive sleep apnea. For mild sufferers, simple snoring cures such as not sleeping on your back and losing weight can help to cure sleep apnea. However, for the more moderate to severe apnea sufferers, a process known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, can remedy the problem. It involves a nose mask that delivers air up through the nose, clearing the way for unobstructed airflow. Surgery is also a possible cure for severe sleep apnea, but is only administered after CPAP treatment fails.
As you can see, snoring is a problem that you should not take sitting (or laying) down. Find out if your condition meets the symptoms of sleep apnea, and even if they do not, do your best to clear your snoring problem so that it does not debilitate into apnea. Research the common reasons for a snoring condition, and see which of them sound like they fit you the most. Then, search out the proper treatments for these reasons.