Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Why People Snore
Snoring occurs when a person’s airways are obstructed during sleep, causing them to make the harsh sounds that many of us know all too well. People who are at the most risk for snoring are males, older people, and those who are overweight, and while many men snore, snoring is still a problem affecting both men and women.
Snoring may or may not be associated with sleep apnea, but it’s necessary for health reasons to determine first if a person has sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea
When the tongue is sucked completely against the back of the throat, the airway is blocked and breathing stops. Once that happens, the harder the sleeper tries to breathe, the airway becomes sealed. It’s like trying to drink a milkshake through a straw that’s stuck in a lump of ice cream. The harder you suck, the flatter the straw becomes. The airway will not open until the brain’s oxygen level falls low enough to partially awaken the sleeper. The tongue then returns to a more normal position, and the airway seal is broken with a loud gasp.
Sleep apnea is a serious chronic disease that may trigger other serious health problems, such as: chronic sleepiness, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, heartburn, morning headaches, and depression. Regular snorers also have a 33% increased risk of cardiovascular disease, making them more likely to suffer a heart attack or a stroke.