Your Snoring Could Be a Warning

Most people think of snoring as just a sound. It might be quiet or loud, amusing or annoying, but we rarely take it seriously. That’s what makes it dangerous. Snoring is the most noticeable symptom associated with sleep apnea, a potentially deadly condition. But snoring is also dangerous in itself and should be treated.

If people tell you you’re a loud snorer, you should seek a sleep test. It’s especially important to be tested if people tell you that your snoring ends in a choking or gasping sound. Getting tested for sleep apnea will tell you what’s the best way to treat your snoring. At SleepTest.com, we make it easy to get a sleep test, even if your doctor doesn’t take your snoring seriously. Please contact us today to order your affordable at-home sleep test.

What Causes Snoring

Snoring occurs when your airway narrows during sleep. This can happen at any point in your airway, but it’s most serious when it happens in your throat.

During the day, your active muscles and gravity work to keep your airway open. But at night you lie down to sleep, and gravity works to pull your throat closed. Then you fall asleep and your muscles relax, making it easier for your airway to collapse. As it narrows, the airflow grows turbulent, like water passing through a partially blocked hose. This turbulence creates a vibration of the throat, which we hear as sound.

As we noted, this can occur anywhere in the airway and can be related to multiple factors, like swelling or nasal congestion. But it is the throat where this becomes a serious problem. The throat might narrow to the point where it collapses, causing sleep apnea. Plus, the vibrations can damage delicate structures in the throat and chest, as we’ll discuss.

Dangers of Snoring

As we noted, snoring should be taken seriously. That’s because it can be linked to many serious dangers, including:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Hardened arteries (Atherosclerosis)
  • Stroke
  • Car and workplace accidents
  • Domestic troubles, leading to divorce and/or violence

Snoring is caused when your airway narrows, so it’s often linked to obstructive sleep apnea, in which your airway collapses.

The vibrations in your throat aren’t harmless. They cause tiny injuries to your arteries, which turn into scars. The scar tissue causes your arteries to thicken and can encourage the accumulation of fatty deposits. This is atherosclerosis, often called hardened arteries. Atherosclerosis can be even more dangerous because the deposits can break off and travel to the brain, blocking your blood vessels there, an ischemic stroke.

People who are snoring often look like they’re sleeping peacefully, especially in the eyes of someone being kept up by snoring. But snoring shows that your body isn’t getting the air you need, which means that you’re not really sleeping well. As a result, you might be more tired during the day, which leads to accidents caused by inattention, such as traffic and workplace accidents.

Finally, snoring can lead to serious fights in your home. When nobody is sleeping well, they all lack the empathy to navigate difficulties peacefully. This causes conflicts to escalate and can lead to divorce or domestic violence.

Snoring Treatment

If your sleep test indicates you have just simple snoring (not sleep apnea), you might try some lifestyle solutions to the condition. First, try to change your sleeping position. You’re less likely to snore sleeping on your side than on your back. Also try to cut down on alcohol and other relaxants too close to bedtime. If your muscles are less relaxed, they will do a better job keeping your airway open. Finally, address air quality in your home. Allergens in the air can cause inflammation in your airway, which narrows it.

Don’t try over-the-counter snoring treatments. They are generally ineffective, and in some cases can be harmful.

However, custom snoring mouthguards can be very effective. They hold your jaw in a position that keeps your airway open.

Although snoring surgery is an option, it’s not generally recommended. If it does provide relief, it’s usually temporary. Since many people with snoring have undiagnosed sleep apnea, they could be at increased risk for surgical complications.

If You Snore, You Should Get Tested

Take your snoring as a warning that you should get a sleep test. A sleep test will tell you if your snoring should be treated as an emergency or if you can try home treatments first.

SleepTest.com can help you get a sleep test, with or without a doctor’s recommendation. Please contact us today to start the simple ordering process for your sleep test. Our tests are affordable and with included 2-day USPS shipping, you can get results in about a week.