Snoring can often be a source of embarrassment and a nuisance to a bed partner who is kept up all night long. But did you know that snoring also poses a serious danger to your health?
If you or your bed partner suffer from chronic snoring, Dr. Chung can help you find the relief you need to sleep through the night and prevent the dangerous health conditions associated with snoring. Please call 703-319-6990 today to schedule a consultation at our Washington D.C. area office.
Causes of Snoring
In many cases, snoring is a sign that you suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that occurs when your airway becomes blocked while you sleep. This happens when the muscles and soft tissue in your throat relax. When your airway becomes blocked, your soft palate and uvula start to vibrate as you breathe, creating the sound you know as snoring.
Snoring is often common in overweight people as well. In these instances, the excess weight you carry can cause bulky throat tissue, which leads to snoring. Snoring can also occur in children with large tonsils.
Why Is Snoring Dangerous?
Snoring can pose a serious danger to you, especially when it is being caused by sleep apnea. In order to resume breathing once your airway becomes blocked, your brain must rouse you from sleep. This can occur hundreds of times a night, resulting in a significant loss of sleep that leads to chronic fatigue. Several studies have found that this disruption in sleep can cause a deterioration of motor skill performance comparable to being legally intoxicated.
In addition, the blocked airway which causes snoring prevents you from receiving enough oxygen while you sleep. As a result, snoring and sleep apnea can increase your risk of serious health conditions such as:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Gastric reflux
Your snoring can affect your bed partner as well. A sleep study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that bed partners of snorers lose approximately one hour of sleep a night. This can lead to many of the fatigue issues experienced by the snorer.
Treatments for Snoring
If your snoring is caused by sleep apnea, Dr. Chung can recommend several treatment options to alleviate the condition and help you sleep peacefully through the night. In mild cases of sleep apnea, you may be able to treat the condition by making a few minor lifestyle adjustments such as:
- Changing sleeping positions to sleep on your side instead of your back
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing alcohol intake
For more severe cases, Dr. Chung may recommend one of the following sleep apnea treatment options:
- Oral appliance therapy
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
Please contact Softouch Dental Care by calling 703-319-6990 today to schedule your snoring and sleep apnea consultation. Dr. Michael Chung serves patients in Northern Virginia including Oakton, Fairfax, Reston, Alexandria, and Arlington, as well as Washington, D.C.