Snoring is more than just a loud and annoying noise. It can be an indicator of a Sleep Breathing Disorder (SBD) that can be very serious. Approximately 42 million Americans have a SBD.
The most common form of a SBD is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a medical condition where your tongue and soft tissues close off your airway and stop air from entering your lungs.
OSA occurs when the muscles and tissue surrounding the throat relax causing the airway to completely collapse and block airflow into the lungs. The blockage cuts off the oxygen supply to the body and brain. The airway obstruction persists until the brain partially awakens the person.
The repeating cycle – falling asleep, muscles relaxing, airway collapsing, unconsciously awakening with a gasp _ is the reason there is never a restful night of sleep. The lack of oxygen puts extra stress on the entire body, especially the heart.
Sleep apnea is a serious chronic disease that may trigger other serious health problems:
Snoring is the sign of a breathing problem. It occurs when the jaw opens and the tongue falls into the back of the throat, causing the airway to narrow and forcing air through the smaller opening. This creates sound vibrations in the throat known as snoring. Snoring can seriously affect your quality of life. It can be embarrassing and inconvenient, and can cause problems in relationships. In some cases, snoring is a red flag for a more serious medical problem called obstrictive sleep apnea (OSA).