We have all heard the word snoring, and you may even be familiar with the condition Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). But how much do you actually know about snoring and OSA? Do you know what causes it? Do you know the negative health impacts it can have? Read on for all the answers and to find out how Snoring Laser Care can help.
What is snoring?
When we are awake, the muscles in the back of our throat are contracted to allow air to travel from your mouth into your lungs easily. However, when you are asleep, all the muscles in your body, including those at the back of your throat, relax and expand. This relaxation closes the airway at the back of the throat. Ordinarily, this is fine, however for some people when this gap closes too much, it forces the air through the small opening which can create a vibration as the air passes over your soft pallet. This is snoring.
In some cases, the airways in your throat can completely close, or “obstruct”. This is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
Snoring and OSA can mean that not enough oxygen is getting to your lungs and brain. In most cases, you will awaken when the brain sends alarm bells telling you that you are low on oxygen. Waking up reopens the airway, and then you fall back asleep and repeat the process.
Why is snoring so bad for your health?
There are a few answers to this question:
1. The obvious, and most scary, answer is that snoring and OSA can cause oxygen depletion. Oxygen is essential for brain function, and a lack of it can cause an array of mental detriments including dizziness and fainting, confusion, loss of coordination and, in the most serious cases, loss of consciousness and death.
2. Snoring and OSA also interrupts your sleep. If you have ever had interrupted sleep, you would know that it impacts your everyday function including mental sharpness and clarity, fatigue and irritability. Long-term interrupted sleep can also lead to blood pressure problems, depression, insomnia and weight gain.
3. Snoring can also negatively impact your relationships. Because of your snoring, your sleeping partner may also lose sleep which can then cause them to experience all of the above symptoms. This may then lead to resentment and an eventual collapse of the relationship.