Should I be worried about snoring? We discuss how frequent snoring is, which risks come with it and what you can do about snoring.
Research has shown that snoring is a common phenomenon. But its prevalence varies widely depending on how the question is asked.
According to the most detailed and strict studies, the prevalence of snoring in the adult population is 25 to 35%, being more common among men.
Table of Contents
Should I be worried about snoring? What is snoring?
Medically speaking, snoring is the sound produced by the vibration of the soft parts of the oropharynx. The latter is the soft palate and, to a lesser extent, the base of the tongue and the pharyngeal vestibule.
Snoring is more intense when the inspiratory flow is rapid, and the soft parts can vibrate.
The speed of the inspiratory flow is determined by Poiseuille’s law. This law stated that, at a constant flow rate, the speed of a fluid is inversely proportional to the section area.
However, studies show that the throat of the snorer is usually narrowed. In addition, a large soft palate will vibrate more easily. There may also be nasal dyspermeability (a blockage in the air flow’s path in your nose) that accelerates nasal airflow.
Should I be worried about snoring? Is snoring dangerous?
Regardless of the frequency of the phenomenon, the main question is:
Is snoring only annoying for the people around you, without any consequences for your health? Or is it a warning sign for any health issues?
After a simple analysis by a doctor, people who snore can be categorized into two groups:
One complains neither about his sleep quality nor about having issues waking or staying up during the day. This points to uncomplicated or mild snoring.
The other, who reports one or more of the following symptoms:
- libido issues and erectile weakness
- surprisingly quick to fall asleep at night
- abnormal sleepiness during the day
- having to get up one or more times during the night to urinate
- exhaustion on waking, which quickly disappears in the morning
- headaches and fatigue
- memory, attention, and concentration problems
- sleep interrupted by awakenings
- for more on possible causes of bad sleep quality, read our other post What negatively impacts sleep? Insights
This analysis will be followed by an examination of the mouth, more specifically:
- the veil
- posterior pillars of the veil
There will also be a general examination, more specifically:
- measurement of weight
- cervical perimeter
- blood pressure
- cardiovascular system
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS)
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is defined by the event of 5 obstructive apneas and/or hypopneas per hour of sleep and the existence of daytime and nighttime symptoms.
Polysomnography is used to determine the quality of someone’s sleep. This is a sleep test that can document sleep disturbance. It measures your entire sleep cycle and detects both apneas and hypopneas.
Today, at least 2.5% of women and 4.5% of men have OSAS. The prevalence of OSAS is multiplied by 5 for obese people.
If you’re overweight and frequently wake at night, ask yourself if your bed may have something to do with it.
Check out our other post for more sturdy bed recommendations: What’s the best sturdy bed frame for obese person?
As you can see, OSAS is a frequent illness, but it is also a potential source of more severe complications.
OSAS is an actual public health problem
OSAS may cause a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents due to drowsiness. This risk is further increased if the patient is an alcohol user.
OSAS is also responsible for increased morbidity and mortality.
Following are the percentages of people with specific health issues that have OSAS:
- 50 to 60% of patients with high blood pressure
- 50 to 70% of patients with a pacemaker for cardiac rhythm disorders
- Roughly 50% of patients who have had a stroke
- 30% of patients with acute coronary syndrome
In all these cases, it has been shown that OSAS presents a risk independent of other possible risk factors, such as:
- tobacco intoxication
This means that OSA is a real public health problem and must be detected and treated.
The best treatment for OSAS: CPAP
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the treatment that provides the best results today on the nocturnal and diurnal symptoms of OSA snoring. These symptoms include:
- poor sleep at night
- if you’re overweight, make sure to rule out a low-quality bed frame as the cause of your bad sleep
- therefore, read our other post What is the best bed frame for an overweight person?
- fatigue upon awakening
- cognitive disorders
- mood disorders
- sexual disorders
CPAP provides pressure from a pressurized air generator through a tight nasal mask attached to the subject’s face with adjustable straps.
This treatment has a few disadvantages, such as:
- the aesthetic prejudice
- the noise
- the clutter of the machine
- the frequent irritation of the root of the nose
- the support of the nasal mask
These disadvantages lead to about 15 to 20% of patients immediately refusing to wear the device.
The improvement of the symptoms should be noticeable overnight. But the long-term effects of the usage of CPAP are an even better advantage:
- reducing the risk of vehicle accidents
- prevention of cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular complications
- an improvement in the quality of life
Should I be worried about snoring? Conclusion
Should I be worried about snoring? Snoring should never be ignored.
As we discuss, you are not alone if you are snoring and it comes with a number of risks.
It’s not only a sign of a lack of deep sleep. Sleep is most often abrupted by awakenings, and it frequently indicates obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).
This is the cause of many possible complications, mainly in the cardio and cerebrovascular fields.
The good news is you can do something about it! Consult your physician about your concerns and ask for help.