Snoring is the subject of a lot of jokes. All kidding aside, snoring is a significant quality of life issue and can be symptomatic of a potentially dangerous, even fatal condition, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Most patients with snoring have some degree of sleep apnea.
Snoring can cause sleep deprivation to snorers and those who sleep with and around them. There is an alarming correlation between loud snoring and dramatic elevations in heart attack (+34% of heart attack) and stroke (+67% of stroke) risk. New studies associate loud “snoring” with the development of carotid artery atherosclerosis, with significant increases in the risk of brain damage and of stroke.
Snoring is no joke!
The medical community has returned a unanimous clinical verdict: Snoring can represent audible evidence that your health is being damaged! Snoring can even represent a growing risk of death!
Definition & Cause
Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft tissues in the back of the throat while you are in deep sleep. It’s measured during a sleep study and considered loud when the volume of the snoring is over 30 decibels. Snoring gets worse as the tissues of the throat are more relaxed, such as after a big meal or if you’re particularly tired, Alcohol and medication such as sleeping pills can impact on snoring. It has been reported that the vibration of snoring can be so turbulent that it can cause the plaque buildup inside the carotid arteries to break off, go to the brain and cause a stroke.
Almost all treatments for snoring revolve around creating space between the tongue and the soft palate to create room in the airway. Some of these treatments include but are not limited to:
Other helpful ideas for treating snoring:
- Weight Loss
- Stop Smoking
- Nasal Sprays
- Nasal Strips
- “Anti-Snore” clothing and devices that influence sleep position
- Special Pillows
Specially made dental appliances called mandibular advancement devices (MAD’s) advance the lower jaw slightly and thereby pull the tongue forward to maintain the airway needed to sustain healthy sleep. Dental appliances are a common treatment for snoring, sleep apnea and other conditions.
Important: Many patients find dental appliances much more comfortable than CPAP machines.
CAUTION: Treating snoring alone can remove the symptom without addressing the cause.
There is enormous body evidence that treating snoring without a diagnostic sleep study to rule out sleep apnea and other issues is ill advised and dangerous. A sleep study can identify or rule out many serious sleep related problems.
Many of the remedies sold, many over the internet, not only fail to treat underlying causes of snoring but they also can create dangerous side effects i.e. shifting of teeth, disturbance of the bite, irritation of the soft tissues of the mouth, TMJD (temporal mandibular joint dysfunction)…
If you snore, address the issue by learning its underlying cause. Remember, snoring is no joke!
Sleep Apnea Without Snoring
Some suffer from sleep apnea without snoring. Like a smokeless fire that may be discovered too late with tragic consequences, the same is true of snore-free sleep apnea.