The Snoring-Sleep Apnea Connection

Snoring is closely associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Most people with obstructive sleep apnea are snorers. Here’s why.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway closes completely, cutting off your ability to breathe. But before your airway fully closes, it often narrows significantly. The narrowed airway is what creates a turbulent airflow that causes vibrations in your throat that you hear as snoring. That’s why snoring is considered a significant risk factor for sleep apnea, especially if your snoring ends in gasping or choking sounds.

The dangers of sleep apnea are severe, and include elevated heart attack and stroke risk.

Snoring Leads to Poor Sleep

Remember, snoring is related to a narrow airway. This means that you’re not getting enough oxygen at night, which can make it hard to get the restorative sleep you need. If you’re a loud snorer, you might wonder why your snoring doesn’t wake you, but the truth is that it does — you just may not wake fully so you don’t remember waking.

There are many dangers of snoring

Snoring and Stroke

Snoring has been positively linked with stroke risk. Some people believe this is due to sleep apnea, but there is evidence to suggest that snoring itself is responsible. The vibrations that we hear as sound are also felt in your body. These vibrations can cause tiny injuries to your blood vessels in the head, throat, and chest. These injuries develop scabs, and these scabs develop into scars that are the beginning of hardened arteries, also known as atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is dangerous because the scarred/scabby blood vessels can collect debris that would normally pass through. As this debris, which can include fats and bacteria, builds up, it can restrict blood flow. But the most serious risk is that these clots can break off and travel into your brain, blocking blood vessels that supply your brain with oxygen and nutrients.

This is a stroke, and strokes can be fatal or result in permanent brain damage. The longer you snore and the deeper your snore, the more it contributes to stroke risk.

Snoring and Domestic Violence

Snoring can often lead to domestic violence. Violence most often results when one partner snores and the other one can’t sleep. Discussions about snoring escalate in intensity and become more frequent until violence results. Sometimes violence arises out of discussions about snoring. Other times, the snorer is attacked in their sleep.

The truth is that discussions about snoring often cannot be successfully resolved by couples because both partners are suffering impaired cognitive function due to poor sleep. Snorers have to realize for themselves how serious their problem is and get treatment before the situation escalates to violence.

Snoring is also a leading cause of divorce in the US.

To learn how snoring treatment can help you avoid these and other dangers associated with snoring, please call (201) 343-4044 or email the River Edge Dental Center for TMJ, Sleep Apnea, & Reconstructive Dentistry today for an appointment.