Often, people treat snoring like a humorous or annoying quirk, often making it the central point of jokes at the snorer’s expense. However, snoring is not something that should be treated lightly, especially if it occurs regularly or is particularly intense. If ignored, snoring can be detrimental to you health as well as downright deadly, making it vital to seek immediate treatment.
Effects of Snoring
Snoring results from airway obstructions, which limit breathing. In very severe cases, an obstruction can almost completely block airflow, creating significant breathing problems. This limits your body’s oxygen intake, a condition that is known as sleep apnea.
As oxygen levels begin to drop, your brain panics, increasing your heart rate and startling you awake. This can lead to increased blood pressure and prevent you from getting adequate rest at night. This in turn will cause other health complications as your body becomes worn down from lack of rest. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to significant heart troubles as well as high blood pressure, shortness of breath, and other issues.
A Tired Heart
As problem snoring takes its toll on your heart, the heart’s walls thicken, making it stiffer with increased amounts of tissue. This makes it more likely to develop an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia.
Even more serious than this is the increased risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. As higher blood pressure leads to heart enlargement, it increases the chances that these will occur. Also, the low oxygen levels in the blood can decrease the size of blood vessels, further increasing the risk of heart disease, especially when other factors are present that lead to plaque buildup in the arteries.
A final risk of prolonged problem snoring is the development of atrial fibrillation. Under normal circumstances, the heart only gets signals from the sinus node in the right atrium when pumping. When atrial fibrillation occurs, however, the heart gets multiple signals all at once. While the heart can normally regulate which signals to let through, the large volume of pulsing from various places in and around the heart causes increased or irregular beating. This can lead to serious problems such as clots inside the heart and increased stress on heart muscles. As clots form, they can be circulated throughout the body, possibly leading to stroke.
Taking Care of Your Heart
Often, resolving conditions such as atrial fibrillation will involve treatment. Once your snoring is improved, it will allow your body to get more oxygen while sleeping, reduce stress on your heart, and ultimately facilitate recovery.
Some ways to alleviate snoring involve improved diet and exercise, sleeping on your side instead of your back, and limiting alcohol intake. If loud snoring persists, there are multiple low risk treatment options available for you to choose from. The Snoring Center provides treatments that can be rendered in one office visit and under an hour. Contact The Snoring Center for an evaluation today.