Snoring is more than a nightly nuisance to your spouse, children, or roommates. It might be a sign that you’ve got a serious health problem. Snoring is potentially dangerous on its own, but the risk of snoring increases significantly if you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when your breathing stops at night, which can interfere with many of the body’s natural mechanisms that are regulated during sleep. The results can be deadly if left untreated.
Ideally, everyone who is snoring should talk to their doctor about it and get a sleep test to find if they have sleep apnea. But here are four signs that should tell you it’s critical to talk to your doctor about the risks.
Your Snoring Is Loud
Snoring can be quiet, but most of the time you hear about it because it’s loud. It disrupts other people’s sleep, sometimes even people in another room or all the way across the house. If that’s the case, then you should worry.
Studies have shown that people who snore loudly are more likely to have sleep apnea than those who snore quietly.
Your Snoring Stops in a Choking or Strangled Sound
Snoring occurs when your airways narrow at night. This constricts the flow of air in the nose or throat, causing turbulence that leads to vibrations that create the snoring sounds.
But if your airway does more than narrow–if it closes–that’s when sleep apnea occurs. You are literally being strangled by your own body. One way to tell this is happening is because of the sound: the way the snore gets suddenly cut off as the airway collapses completely. If anyone says this happens to you, then it’s time to talk to a doctor.
You Are Tired During the Day
People who sleep with snorers wonder that they can sleep through their own noise. That’s not quite true. People who snore are often awakened by their own snoring, as they’re awakened by their apnea, but they may not remember it.
The real sign that you’re being wakened by your snoring is when you feel exhausted during the day. If you are tired during the day no matter how much sleep you think you’re getting, the odds are good that you are actually being awakened many times at night by your snoring or sleep apnea.
You Have Been Diagnosed with Related Health Conditions
In addition to daytime tiredness, sleep apnea can often be identified by the telltale impacts it has on your health. Perhaps the most persistent link with sleep apnea is with high blood pressure. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, then the odds are good that you have sleep apnea–especially if your high blood pressure isn’t responding to treatment.
People with depression and other mood disorders are also at elevated risk for sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can also increase your risk of weight gain and diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or are struggling with weight gain, don’t forget to mention snoring to your doctor.
We Can Treat Both Snoring and Sleep Apnea
After you’ve been tested for sleep apnea, it’s important to get a comfortable, convenient treatment that you will actually use. We offer oral appliance therapy for both snoring and sleep apnea in Rochester, NY. It’s highly effective and it’s not intrusive.