Learn about the health risks of snoring from Willoughby Hills sleep medicine expert
Snoring may seem like a benign condition, aside from being somewhat embarrassing and disrupting your bed partner’s sleep. However, research in recent years has indicated that snoring is more insidious than it seems, and it is linked to several negative health conditions. Below, Dr. Michael Stern, a dental sleep medicine specialist in Willoughby Hills, OH, explains the health risks of snoring and what you can do about it.
Snoring: more than just a nuisance
Snoring is very common and tends to get worse with age and weight gain. While occasional snoring due to issues like respiratory viruses is typically not detrimental to your health, chronic snoring every night can be problematic for not only your bed partner’s quality of sleep but also your own sleep and overall health and well-being. If you snore regularly, you may be at risk of several serious health issues, such as:
- Daytime drowsiness and fatigue that can lead to reduced productivity during the day and increase your chance of accidents in the car and in your everyday life
- Mood changes such as irritability or depression
- Heart problems such as an enlarged heart, high blood pressure, and a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes
- Pulmonary hypertension due to low oxygen in your bloodstream
- …and more
Treatment options for snoring
Fortunately, if you snore, there are many effective treatment options available. The first step is determining what is causing your snoring. In many cases, a condition called sleep apnea is the culprit. With sleep apnea, your airway becomes blocked during sleep, usually due to your oral tissues and tongue collapsing onto the back of your throat. When this happens, snoring can result. In addition, your brain stops receiving enough oxygen and you may startle awake many times throughout the night, which can be accompanied by gasping, snorting, or other sounds.
One of the most convenient and comfortable ways to treat this type of snoring is with an oral appliance. At Snoring and CPAP Solutions in Willoughby Hills, we perform a thorough evaluation and consultation to learn about your snoring and sleep patterns, and then custom design a comfortable appliance that you wear only while you sleep. This appliance helps shift your mouth into an optimal position while you sleep to keep your airway free and clear and prevent snoring.