If you are constantly waking yourself up or your partner due to snoring, then you are not alone. Over 90 million Americans suffer from snoring, and it only gets worse with age. While snoring may not indicate a serious medical condition, it can lead to routine tiredness and sleepiness during the day.
But what causes snoring? When you sleep, the muscles of your throat relax, and your throat becomes narrow. The narrow walls of your throat begin to vibrate with each breath. The narrower your throat, the louder the vibrations. There are several factors that cause snoring:
- Enlarged tonsils
- Deviated Septum
- Respiratory infection
- Sleeping position (sleeping on your back may cause snoring)
- Taking muscle relaxants or alcohol in the evening
Dr. Shuaib can provide a thorough examination to find if snoring is caused by nasal obstruction, enlargement of tonsils and adenoids, nasal allergies or sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is the most serious cause of snoring. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep apnea affects more than 18 million Americans. Sleep apnea occurs when you have multiple pauses in your breathing which last more than 10 seconds at a time. This causes a lower amount of oxygen in your bloodstream, which in turn makes your heart work harder. In the long term, sleep apnea can lead to higher blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Waking up gasping or choking
- Morning headaches
- Sore throat upon waking
- Changes in your level of concentration
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Extremely loud snoring
Sleep apnea is more common in male than females. However, the risk of sleep apnea increases during menopause. Research has shown that family history may also be a cause for sleep apnea.
Regardless of these genetic factors, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can decrease the risk of developing sleep apnea. There are several other ways to prevent sleep apnea, such as avoiding alcohol or sleeping pills, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and sleeping on your side instead of your back.
Don’t underestimate the health risks, dismiss the problem or provide a self-diagnosis. Your health depends on getting enough sleep. If you or your partner experience any symptoms of snoring or sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with Dr. Stefan Shuaib for a thorough evaluation, on-site diagnostics and treatment for snoring by calling (956) 362-8125..
Dr. Stefan Shuaib is one of the top head and neck surgeons in Texas and provides on-site diagnosis and treatment in the Rio Grande Valley. If you are concerned about any changes or symptoms you have been experiencing, it is important to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shuaib by calling (956) 362-8125.