Although occasional snoring is typically harmless, chronic snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea or other medical condition.
The physical blockage of air through the mouth and nose is what causes snoring, and the actual sound comes from the vibration of the throat’s walls.
Things that contribute to the obstruction of airflow include blocked nasal passages, poor muscle tone in the structures of the mouth and throat, and excess fat deposits around these structures.
Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)
In some cases, snoring can indicate upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS).
Unlike sleep apnea, people with UARS do not stop breathing at any point or have decreased blood oxygenation. What they experience is a decreased airflow when breathing in.
The airway narrows and breathing becomes more difficult, which is why the disorder is often accompanied by snoring. People with UARS share some of the same symptoms as those with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), yet will test negative with sleep testing.
Specialized tests including measuring changes in the pressure in the esophagus are usually needed to diagnose UARS.
Those loud, obnoxious noises we all worry about during some of the quietest hours of our day can have terrible implications on our overall health.
Did you know that 40-50% of adults snore regularly?
Snoring is normally caused by a partially blocked upper airway (the throat and nose).
When we sleep, our muscles relax. Sometimes, they relax too much and partially block our airway, causing the funny sound we all dread.
Snoring can also be caused by other blockages, such as a large tongue, large tonsils, or excess weight around the neck.
Structural reasons may also be the cause of snoring – abnormalities in the shape of the jaw or nose are also common causes.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
The problem with snoring stems not from the sound, but from the lack of oxygen to the body.
When snoring is directly related to sleep apnea, the body will go through dozens, sometimes hundreds of times during the night where it wakes itself up due to lack of oxygen.
When we don’t get enough oxygen, the brain will signal the body to do something about it – resulting in frequent periods during the night where you are awake and you don’t even know it.
Obstructive sleep apnea affects 1 in 3 men and 1 in 5 women. Not only does sleep apnea affect your energy levels, it has also be linked to diabetes, obesity, heart failure and hypertension.
My Snoring Doesn’t Bother Me…Should I Still Seek Snoring Treatment?
It is important to get your snoring assessed if it has been happening consistently for more than a couple of months. Remember that snoring can mean a lack of oxygen to your brain.
Once you seek treatment and have the root cause of your snoring diagnosed, we can assure you that you will feel more energized, you will feel more accomplished, and your stress levels will be reduced.
Lack of sleep can negatively impact everyone, especially when you are not aware of it.
If you believe that you are snoring, or know someone that does – consider it a sign that your body is trying to tell you something.
Keep in mind that the body is extremely fragile and responds to lack of sleep very poorly.
Poor sleep can mean an unhealthy body – make sure you reach out to us so you can finally get the good night sleep you deserve.
Snoring Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Depending on the severity and the cause of your sleep apnea, your treatment will differ.
For mild-moderate obstructive sleep apnea sufferers, a sleep appliance may be used, which is a device worn at night that gently moves your lower jaw forward to open your airway and allow you to breath with ease.
Patients find they have sleep apnea relief by wearing the sleep apnea appliance.
If you are tired of your CPAP machine, believe you may be a candidate for a sleep appliance, and want to improve the health of your entire body, we would love to help.