How many times have you come across statements like, “It is normal to snore”, “Snoring is just a funny habit” or “It doesn’t need any treatment”? Well, all of them are wrong! So, is snoring bad then?
Yes. Caused as a result of the partial closing of the upper respiratory tract, snoring can have serious implications on your health. Frequent or loud snoring, or waking up through the night because of difficulty in breathing, are signs of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
This poses a huge health risk since your airway becomes obstructed, and you could stop breathing in your sleep. Here’s a look at the signs that you have a snoring problem, and the risk it poses to your health:
What is Snoring
Not everyone you know snores. It is more common in people who are older than 40, have excessive weight, smoking habits, or breathing problems. These factors often lead to enlarged tonsils, enlarged tongue, or excess weight around the neck, thus making their airway too narrow for air to travel in their lungs. This results in throat vibrations, hence the snoring sound.
But is snoring always bad? Well, not if you snore sporadically. The problem arises when there are daily episodes of loud and prominent snoring in your sleep. A look at some of the symptoms to know if you are dealing with a snoring disease:
Health Risks Associated With Snoring
Snoring can pose some serious risks to you or the health of your loved ones, leading to:
Drop in Blood Oxygen Levels - The normal blood oxygen level should be in the range of 94%-98%. But snoring for 30 seconds or more can lead it to drop to 80% or less. This is dangerous to the body and requires immediate attention.
Heart Diseases - Snoring gives rise to cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure. Result? Snorers are more prone to getting heart diseases or heart attacks. People also run the risk of developing irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) due to snoring.
Strokes - Your intensity of snoring can narrow the arteries in the neck due to fatty deposits, increasing your chances of getting a stroke.
Accidents - Lack of concentration during daytime is one of the ill effects of snoring, causing daytime sleepiness. This can take your mind off from your activities, even driving, paving the way for road accidents.
Mental Health Concerns - Irritability, and mood swings caused due to snoring can even lead to anxiety and mild depression, leading to mental health problems.
Now that you are aware of why is snoring bad, and what can be its health risks, the next step is to identify if you have any of the snoring problem symptoms. Asking your bed partner, or recording the patterns of your sleep could be one way to do so. But a third more effective way could be to take a sleep test. Taking a home sleep test is the first step to feeling better by looking after your sleep.