Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is marked by periods of excessively loud snoring, can prove harmful to your health by depriving your mind and body of necessary rest. Even if your snoring doesn’t indicate OSA, however, there is ample reason for you to seek help to stop snoring (not the least of which is the sleeping partner that you might be keeping awake at night). Today, we look at the mechanics behind snoring, and the risks that snoring can pose to your overall health, even if you don’t have sleep apnea.
What Causes Snoring?
You might not automatically think of visiting your dentist for help to stop snoring; yet, oral tissues are often the primary cause of it. More specifically, your oral tissues relax when you sleep, and abnormalities of your soft palate, uvula, nose, tonsils, adenoids or base of the tongue can lead to these tissues collapsing into your airway at night. The shrinking airway causes snoring to grow louder as air squeezes through the increasingly smaller space and forces your oral tissues to vibrate violently. In cases of sleep apnea, your airway closes completely and stops you from breathing. However, sleep isn’t the only thing at risk, and even if you don’t have sleep apnea, a restricted airway can still threaten your health.
Snoring and Your Health
Aside from sleep deprivation, another risk commonly associated with sleep apnea is cardiovascular disease, which experts believe is tied to the diminished flow of oxygenated blood during apnic episodes. Given the mechanisms of snoring, however, some experts believe the danger to your heart’s health may begin with the act of snoring, rather than with the disorder of sleep apnea. When you snore, you have to work harder for a much smaller amount of air, which can exhaust your cardiovascular system and lead to related chronic health issues later in life.
Learn More About Avoiding Harmful Snoring
Even if you don’t have sleep apnea, snoring may increase your risk of certain systemic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease. To schedule a consultation, call Houston Sleep Solutions in Spring, TX, at (281) 320-2000, or in Pearland, TX, at (832) 564-3508.