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Is snoring really a big problem? Some people ask. And some say, ‘Come on, it’s only snoring!’ But what if I say that ‘snoring causes heart attack’ if not treated timely? Would you believe that? Let’s see!
Snoring can also be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a severe sleep disorder in which breathing recurrently stops and starts. So, some people often relate snoring with sleep apnea which affects about 2% to 9% of the adults in the United States. This article will briefly discuss the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and snoring, how snoring causes heart attack, their possible symptoms, causes, and treatment.
What is Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA?
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common respiratory disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts leading to complete or partial collapse of the upper airway during sleep. It can affect anyone, even children, but the old ones are more susceptible to it. It can cause shallow or difficulty breathing and thus lower the oxygen flow to the vital organs making irregular heart rhythm. So, sleep apnea or snoring causes a heart attack.
- Causes Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Being obese, male, and aged
- Narrow airways
- Nasal congestion
- Smoking, use of alcohol or drugs
- Genetic problems or Family history
- How Obstructive Sleep Apnea Causes A Heart Attack?
As we all know, heart disorders are the leading cause of mortality globally. There might be many causes of heart disorders; untreated sleep apnea is one of them. Patients with OSA are four times more likely to develop heart diseases, and thus, sleep apnea can increase the risk of heart attack by about 140%. When a person with OSA efforts to breathe, they inhale air against a narrowed upper airway. These forced breathing can cause extensive changes in pressure in the chest cavity. So, these repetitive pressure changes can damage the heart leading to atrial fibrillation, so sleep apnea causes a heart attack.
What Is Snoring?
Nosing breathing with croaky or harsh sounds while you sleep is called snoring. It occurs when air flows through the stress-free tissues in your throat, triggering them to vibrate when you breathe. Snoring can affect anyone, but it is more prevalent in obese ones, especially males, and worsens with age. Snoring itself can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea and can increase the risk of hypertension, stroke, and even heart attack.
Causes Of Snoring
- Blocked airflow through nose or mouth
- Blocked nasal airways due to allergy or sinus infections
- The deprived muscle tone of the tongue
- Being obese with massive throat tissue
- Long uvula or soft palate
- Consumption of alcohol
- Sleep deprivation
- Sleeping on your back
How Snoring Causes Heart Attack?
When snoring obstructs your breathing, your heart and brain are the first organs to suffer. Snoring can be a sign of heart attack, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. When the breathing is obstructed due to snoring, the supply of enough oxygen to the blood stops, which leads to vasoconstriction (narrowing of vessels) and blocks the blood flow. The blockage of the oxygenated blood flow to the vital organs, i.e., the heart, can lead to a heart attack if not treated. So, only the timely diagnosis and treatment of snoring can save you from heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiac disorders.
Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Snoring
Some of the common symptoms of Obstructive sleep apnea/snoring are:
- Panting for air during sleep
- Loud snoring
- Waking up choking or gasping
- Waking up with sore throat or dry mouth
- Morning headache
- Daytime fatigue
- Irritability and mood swings
- Lack of focus
- Heart disease
• You can adopt a healthy lifestyle to control snoring or sleep apnea, like quitting smoking, losing weight, or avoiding alcohol use.
• You can wear a small oral plastic device in your mouth while sleeping that can keep your airways open.
• Surgery is also effective in stopping snoring.
• Loud snoring can point to a serious problem; you should talk to your doctor if you have severe signs or symptoms of sleep apnea.
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