Causes of Snoring and Long-term Health Complications of Chronic Snoring

Except for being a nuisance to your sleeping partner, occasional snoring is usually not a health concern. But if it happens frequently, it may diminish your sleep quality, which leads to health problems. Specialists from Sleep Services of Maryland LLC offer comprehensive snoring Rockville treatment options to help you get quality sleep.

What causes snoring?

Snoring is an unconscious habit that causes noisy breathing as you sleep. Virtually everyone snores occasionally, but it occurs more frequently in men and obese patients.

The principal cause of snoring is blockages in the airway. It can happen due to poor muscle tone around your throat and tongue. The tongue falls back into the airway, causing noisy breathing while you are sleeping.

Alcohol, medications, and substance abuse could loosen your muscles when asleep. Snoring may also cause sleep deprivation. Sleeping on your side with a pillow is one way to improve your breathing and reduce snoring.

Another factor is the anatomy of the mouth and nasal passages, including the soft palate or the uvula. If the uvula, the tissue at the back of the mouth, is elongated, it may vibrate at some point during sleep.

Obesity increases the fat tissue around the neck, causing the muscles to loosen. Children with large tonsils may also experience airway blockages during their nighttime sleep. Both conditions can cause noisy breathing.

What health complications can arise from snoring?

Occasional snoring, which happens to everyone, is usually harmless. But chronic snoring has many long-term health implications.

Most problems arise from frequent interruptions in sleep and breathing. If breathing disruptions last more than 10 seconds, it is often a sign of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea and snoring cause sleep disruptions that make you feel tired and irritable when you wake up. Inadequate sleep leads to fatigue and sleepiness that can impact your productivity. You may also become more susceptible to accidents and injuries due to the lack of concentration.

Sleep disturbances and poor sleep quality can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea are more prone to arrhythmia, which causes an unstable heartbeat. Arrhythmia is where the heartbeat speeds up, slows down, or is irregular.

Research indicates a correlation between snoring and GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder). GERD is a condition where stomach acids flow back into your mouth. Nocturnal heavy breathing causes the throat muscles to open and close unpredictably. Chronic snoring may trigger or worsen symptoms of GERD.

Snoring management and treatment

Weight loss can help manage most cases of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Lifestyle adjustments like alcohol abstinence prevent the muscles from loosening and reduce incidences of snoring.

Consider seeking treatment if you snore for three or more nights a week. If you sleep alone, you may not realize you frequently snore. So, schedule a visit with your sleep specialist if you often wake up feeling irritable and tired.

Your provider may utilize oral appliances or CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) equipment to reduce snoring. An evaluation and discussion with your provider will determine the best treatment plan for your condition.

Consult Sleep Services of Maryland LLC to schedule a diagnostic snoring evaluation today.