Sure, it’s annoying—that loud, guttural snoring that can bring down the wrath of your sleeping partner and even disrupt your own sleep from time to time. And while it may be tempting to ignore the habit and maybe even joke about it on occasion, multiple medical studies have shown that snoring is often an early indicator of much more serious underlying cardiovascular disease. Ignoring the snoring could be risking your health.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one of the most common causes of snoring. The airway partially collapses during sleep, blocking respiration and causing loud snoring and prolonged pauses in breathing. For years, researchers have recognized the link between OSA and heart disease. But new research shows that snoring still poses a significant health risk even when OSA is not present. According to the most recent data, the repeated vibrations of snoring can result in inflammation that can cause thickening in the carotid arteries, the primary blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygen-rich blood and other nutrients. Thickening in these arteries can result in stroke.
And your physical health isn’t the only thing at risk. Snoring can wreak havoc on relationships, forcing couples to occupy separate bedrooms and destroying intimacy—even creating feelings of resentment in the long-suffering spouse when the snorer refuses treatment.
Yet many people never bother to seek a physician’s advice, even though cures for snoring can often be simple, minimally invasive procedures—or no procedures at all. For some sufferers, a basic nasal spray or allergy treatment may be enough to stop snoring in its tracks. For others, in-office treatments using radio frequency can shrink the tissues around the throat and tongue, while other state-of-the-art techniques can help stiffen or reduce the soft palate and uvula (that little thing that hangs down in the back of your throat) reducing the noise-making vibrations.
For patients whose breathing is impeded by nasal structures like a deviated septum or the spongy bones called turbinates, a simple procedure may be the cure for snoring. Other patients can be aided by an oral appliance that helps maintain an open, unobstructed airway during sleep.
The take-home lesson: Snoring has many causes. But with lots of cures for snoring available, many of which are simple and painless, there is no need for you to suffer. Schedule an appointment and come see us so we can help you take steps toward a healthier, happier and quieter life.