Approximately 90 million people in this country snore. Many people who snore don’t experience any adverse side effects, but up to half of that 90 million may suffer from a sleep disorder. If you feel like you’re not getting enough sleep or if you suspect that your snoring is affecting your health, you may ask yourself: is snoring dangerous if left untreated? The answer may be yes.
Do you find yourself waking often during the night? Are you sluggish and sleepy during the day? Your snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which your breathing is consistently interrupted for several seconds at a time. Your body reacts to that lack of oxygen by jolting awake; it wants you to breathe!
If your snoring gets measurably worse during the spring and summer, allergies could be the culprit. Swollen sinuses make it harder to breathe, both during waking hours and in your sleep. Seek treatment for your allergies and you may find that your snoring lightens up, too.
When your snoring stops you from breathing on a regular basis during the night, that lack of oxygen can put a strain on your heart. People who snore are at a higher risk of developing arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythm). If your body isn’t getting enough oxygen, look for a snoring specialist near you. Allergy & ENT Associates can prescribe treatments like the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to ensure that you breathe evenly throughout the night.
Snoring affects nearly every part of your body, right down to your digestive system. When your airways are regularly obstructed, the irregular rhythm can lead to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), in which disordered pressure from your airways can suck stomach acid up into your esophagus. An ENT specialist near you can recommend dietary and lifestyle changes to relieve the symptoms.
Don’t take snoring lightly, whether it affects you or a loved one. Bring up any concerns with your doctor, no matter how inconsequential they may feel.
Is snoring dangerous if left untreated? For some, the answer may be yes. If you feel that your quality of life has declined due to snoring, seek medical treatment; you may be saving your own life!