The Health Risks of Snoring

Who are you in this photo? The snorer, or the person who loses sleep because of the snoring? Now, snoring may seem harmless when it happens occasionally. However, when snoring persists, it can have adverse health effects on more than just your sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, snoring has been linked to problems such as heart disease, sleep apnea and daytime dysfunction. So, how can snoring affect your health?

Disrupted Sleep and Sleepiness
Even if you do not have a severe issue like sleep apnea, snoring can still jar you awake and cause you to disrupt your (and your partner’s) sleep. Lack of sleep can cause you to be drowsy throughout the day. This can lead to problems like decreased productivity, irritability and depression. In more severe cases, snoring can be a sign of a serious health problem called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Sleep Apnea
Persistent snoring could be a sign of sleep apnea, a breathing condition that affects more than 18 million adults. Sleep apnea happens when someone stops breathing or when shallow breathing occurs. This results in waking up frequently during sleep, up to 100 times a night. When someone stops breathing, their brain and body do not get enough oxygen. This can cause damage if left untreated.

There are three main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive – When there is a complete or partial blockage of your upper airwave. This is the most common form of sleep apnea.
  • Central – When your brain sends signals to your muscles not to breathe. This can include pauses in the breathing that can last upward of 20 seconds.
  • Complex – This is combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Heart Issues
Studies have shown a link between snoring and heart disease. The momentary pauses in breathing can prevent restful sleep and have been associated with high blood pressure, stroke and even heart failure. With long-term snoring, researchers have found people who develop an irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia. Listen to those snoring signs to prevent problematic heart issues later on.

If you or your partner snores, consider talking to a medical professional like Dr. Kaplan. You might be a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty.  Contact our office 713-793-6422 about any questions and request an appointment online.