In most cases snoring is nothing more than an annoyance for the other person in the bedroom. There are times however, that snoring should not be ignored. In extreme cases snoring can cause health conditions including heart-attack and stroke. If you yourself snore, or know somebody that does, it’s important to understand the symptoms and side-effects of the sleep disorder and have your snoring assessed by a professional. If left untreated snoring can turn into bruxism (the grinding and tension of teeth), or sleep apnea and a multitude of other health conditions that can effect quality of life and in some cases be fatal.
Simple snoring is the light snoring many people do some of the time to some degree, which isn’t necessarily a health hazard however can affect the sleep of loved ones and the snorer themselves. It can also be a pre-curser to the next stage of snoring which is upper airway resistance syndrome. Upper airway resistance syndrome is when the airway closes during sleep. The snoring sound is due to the uvula and the soft palate vibrating from the passage of air. The more the throat is relaxed, the deeper the snoring can become. As snoring gets more severe the airflow is restricted and the amount of oxygen in the blood becomes reduced. Clenching and grinding can begin when oxygen is reduced and in extreme cases the lack of oxygen can put stress on the cardio-vascular system leading to cardiovascular disease and sometimes death.
Although many people that snore don’t go on to develop cardio-vascular disease, snoring can affect people’s lives more than they know. Light sleep, frequent waking up from sleep and overall poor quality sleep tends to affect people regularly, and snoring is often the culprit. Everyone who has experienced poor sleep before would know the flow on effects- lack of energy, no motivation, lowered immune system, irritability, weight gain and more can be caused by poor sleep due to snoring. Teeth grinding and clenching from snoring can damage a person’s dentitions leading to costly dental treatments if not diagnosed early.
From obstructed nasal airways (due to allergy, infections or nasal polyps), poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue, bulky throat tissue and a long soft palate or uvula there are several environmental and physiological conditions that can lead to snoring. Men are more likely to snore then women and the older one gets the more likely they are to snore. Alcohol, sleeping pills and deep sleep can increase the prevalence and severity of snoring.
If you suspect yourself or a loved one may have a sleep disorder caused by snoring, or if you simply are aware of your snoring and are wondering if it could be causing low energy and other associated symptoms, then come see us at Whistler Dental. We have sleep specialists on hand trained to detect and examine the symptoms and effects of sleep disorders and snoring.