Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Friday, December 20, 2013

What Causes Snoring?

Most people think of snoring as an auditory nuisance, but it can pose a serious health risk to the sleeper if left untreated. If you snore, it’s important to talk to a physician specializing in sleep disorders who can examine your health and suggest snoring treatment options.

In terms of basic anatomy, snoring can occur when your airway becomes obstructed during sleep. The unpleasant sound that often accompanies snoring is actually an audible vibration emanating from the sleeper’s soft palate and uvula (respectively the soft tissue on the roof of the mouth and the punching bag-like structure at the back of the throat) as he/she struggles to inhale.

There are multiple reasons why your airway could be obstructed at night. Common causes of snoring include:

  • Consistently sleeping on your back
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Asthma, seasonal allergies and other disorders or conditions that inflame the bronchial tubes
  • Alcohol or tobacco use
  • Some prescription and over the counter medications, including sleep aids and cold or allergy drugs
  • Irregular structures in the airway, such as enlarged tonsils or a deviated septum
Heavy snoring can also be one of the early symptoms of sleep apnea, a dangerous disorder that interrupts breathing (and, consequently, decreases the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream) during sleep. Much like snoring, sleep apnea can result from blockage impeding the movement of breath in the airway.

There are a number of risk factors for developing sleep apnea, so it’s important to consult a sleep physician in your area right away to find out what’s making you snore and discuss potential treatments.

If you’re seeking a snoring treatment to ensure you and your housemates can enjoy a quiet night’s sleep, please contact a local sleep doctor or call 1-866-727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today to schedule your initial evaluation.

posted by Admin at 10:39 PM