Snoring is a common condition that can affect anyone, although it occurs more frequently in men and people who are overweight. Snoring has a tendency to worsen with age.
Sleep apnea is actually a serious sleep disorder in which people continuously stop and start breathing. If you snore loudly then you may suffer from sleep apnea, and people with this kind of problem usually feel tired even after sleeping all night.
The main types of sleep apnea are:
- Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
- Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Health Risks Associated With Snoring
Habitual snorers can be at risk for serious health problems, including obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea creates several problems, including:
- Long interruptions of breathing (more than 10 seconds) during sleep caused by partial or total obstruction or blockage of the airway.
- Frequent waking from sleep, even though you may not realize it.
- Light sleeping. People with obstructive sleep apnea sleep lightly to try to keep their throat muscles tense enough to maintain airflow.
- Strain on the heart. Prolonged suffering from obstructive sleep apnea often results in higher blood pressure and may cause enlargement of the heart, with higher risks of heart attack and stroke.
- Poor night’s sleep. This leads to drowsiness during the day and can interfere with your quality of life.
- Low oxygen levels in the blood. This can lead to constricted blood vessels in the lungs and eventually pulmonary hypertension.
- Chronic headaches.
- Daytime sleepiness and fatigue.