Snoring can be dangerous to your health. Check when to rush to the doctor

Snoring can be dangerous to your health.  Check when to rush to the doctor

Snoring is not only about annoying sounds that effectively disturb the sleep of other household members. It turns out that it can be a dangerous symptom that should not be ignored. What does it prove?

For many people, snoring is an embarrassing problem. These night sounds result from air vibrations that are transformed into sound waves. When breathing calmly, the air passes through the respiratory tract without any problems, and our breathing is barely audible. However, it sometimes happens that the back of the tongue comes into contact with the palate, leaving only a small gap through which air can flow. Then our breathing, which encounters an obstacle, results in characteristic sounds called snoring. The reasons for this condition may be quite prosaic, but sometimes they also indicate quite serious health problems.

Chronic snoring may be a symptom of sleep apnea

If snoring occurs occasionally, it should not be an alarm signal. It is estimated that almost every second adult has this problem. However, if this condition persists for a long time, it may indicate a disease. One such breathing disorder that is dangerous to our body is obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Its main symptom is snoring (often very loud), but also pauses in breathing at night (lasting over 10 seconds). To diagnose sleep apnea, on average, at least five such episodes (lasting more than 10 seconds) must occur in each hour of sleep. Other symptoms include:

  • feeling unwell caused by constant lack of sleep,

  • waking up at night,

  • insomnia,

  • frequent urination at night,

  • decreased libido,

  • feeling sleepy during the day,

  • morning headaches.

The causes of this disease include narrowing of the respiratory tract and relaxation of the structures of the throat and larynx. This condition can lead to serious complications, including heart disease and hypertension. To diagnose obstructive sleep apnea, the doctor interviews the patient, but it is also necessary to perform a special test carried out in a sleep laboratory, called polysomnography. If sleep apnea is diagnosed, appropriate treatment must be implemented.

What are other causes of snoring?

Other causes of snoring include a blocked nose, but also a deviated nasal septum, which forces the sleeping person to breathe through the mouth. Snoring may also be caused by enlarged tonsils – they become hypertrophied as a result of infection, thus narrowing the airways. It also happens that the soft palate or uvula are overdeveloped, which also impedes the free flow of air.

Snoring may also be caused by:

  • smoking,

  • Hypothyroidism,

  • alcohol abuse,

  • drinking alcohol before bed,

  • sleeping or sedative medicines.

It is also worth checking what diet will help with snoring and what foods to avoid.

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