Most of us think snoring is a nuisance, but it can be very serious. People who sleep with snorers can regularly lose an hour or more of sleep every night, which can increase tension in a couple and lead to long-term relationship and health problems. Worse, snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea, a potentially deadly health condition with up to 90% of its sufferers undiagnosed.
Don’t continue to suffer with snoring. Please call 619-299-5925 or email Strober Dental in San Diego. We can help you get a proper diagnosis or help you get a comfortable, convenient solution for snoring or sleep apnea.
Snoring and sleep apnea are both types of sleep disordered breathing. Snoring is caused by a narrowing of your airway when you sleep. Narrowing of your airway causes a turbulent airflow, which results in vibrations that we hear as sound. This narrowing can occur in the nose, mouth, or throat.
Narrow airways in the nose can be anatomical. Some people have nasal structures that are simply not adequate to their air demands. Other times, people may inflamed nasal tissues that result in narrowing of the airways. Finally, nasal congestion may lead to narrowing of the airway in the nose.
Your airway can be narrowed in your mouth by many different tissues, including your tongue, soft palate, and uvula (the dangling tissue you can see at the back of your mouth). When you lie down, these tissues are pulled backward by gravity, which can cause them to partly block your airway.
During the day, your throat is held open by gravity and by your muscles. But when you lie down, gravity pulls down on your airway, and when you sleep your muscles relax, which can cause your throat to partly collapse. This is more likely if you carry excess weight in your throat area.
Snoring is not harmless: it’s a sign that you’re not getting enough air when you sleep, which can lead to problems.
For nasal snoring, breathe strips help some people. Treating allergies and illnesses that may result in congestion also helps. Others may need nasal surgery.
For sagging tissues in the mouth or throat, oral appliances can be used to reposition your jaw, reducing the risk that these tissues will narrow or close your airway. Losing weight from the neck area and avoiding alcohol in the evening can also help. In some cases, surgery may be recommended.
Snoring and Drowsy Driving
One of the dangers that has been associated with snoring is drowsy driving. In a survey of more than 150,000 drivers, about 4% reported falling asleep at the wheel within the last 30 days. The percentage of drivers that snored who fell asleep at the wheel was as high as 8% for people who normally get less than 6 hours of sleep a night. No matter how much time you spend sleeping, snoring increases your risk of falling asleep at the wheel by 60-70%.
Snoring and Relationships
Snoring is also a problem for people who share their bedroom with another sleeper. Sleeping with a snorer results in more fragmented sleep and lower sleep quality.
This poor sleep quality leads to increased fights among couples. When a person gets poor sleep quality, they are more likely to fight with their partner the next day.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring is also one of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea, in which your airway closes completely at night. If you snore and have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, have daytime sleepiness, diabetes, mood disorders, or other chronic health conditions, you should be evaluated for sleep apnea.
To learn more about how you can get relief from your snoring, please contact Strober Dental in San Diego today.