Probably, there is not a single person who is unfamiliar with snoring, both personally and from the stories of relatives and friends. As a rule, women are more often the offended side, and men are the culprits, because they snore much more often than the fair sex. But snoring is not just a rattling sound or vibration in your sleep. This is a dangerous condition that has a lot of serious consequences. What?
Apnea — difficulty breathing during sleep
If a normal and healthy person’s breathing in a dream is even and light, then a snorer may experience apnea, when breathing stops for several seconds, or even minutes. This is one of the most terrible complications of snoring, fraught with a variety of negative consequences. One of them is a persistent increase in blood pressure. Normally, in a sleeping person, the pressure, on the contrary, decreases, and in a person who snores during episodes of apnea, it increases. Thus, the risk of developing arterial hypertension increases, and in some cases, obstructive sleep apnea leads to the development of pulmonary hypertension.
It manifests itself as shortness of breath, increased fatigue, cough, fainting, angina pectoris, edema, and even hemoptysis. The risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea significantly increases excess weight, which contributes to the development of a condition such as “Pickwick’s syndrome”. One of the characters in the novel The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club by the famous writer Charles Dickens suffered from it. “Fat Guy” Joe couldn’t breathe deep enough and fast enough, and therefore he constantly fell asleep.
Snoring as a cause of constant fatigue
Holding your breath during sleep leads to a lack of oxygen in the body and an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide. As the duration of apnea increases, the severity of these changes also increases, which at a certain stage causes a person to wake up or go into a stage of superficial sleep. But for recuperation, the phase of deep sleep is crucial, which in such people is much shorter than normal. What does this lead to? First of all, to daytime sleepiness. Such people wake up tired and broken, as if they never went to bed.
“Snoring combined with sleep apnea disrupts the structure of sleep,” says Elena Migunova, a sleep specialist. As a result, memory and intellect suffer, working capacity decreases, a person feels constant fatigue. If he lives alone, he may simply not know what caused his condition, blaming hard work, stress, and unfavorable sanitary and environmental conditions for everything. Turning to specialists for help with complaints of chronic fatigue syndrome, he hopes for a speedy recovery, but it is impossible without correcting sleep disorders.
What is the risk of obesity?
By itself, obesity cannot cause snoring, because it is largely a nutritional problem. However, being overweight significantly increases the risk of developing sleep apnea. According to statistics, 2/3 of sleep apnea patients are overweight. Its influence on the development of the “Pickwick syndrome” has already been mentioned above, but the excess fat that accumulates in the neck directly affects the process of gas exchange between the body and the environment during a night’s rest, disrupting breathing. Obesity is a common risk factor for both sleep apnea and diabetes. About 80% of people with impaired glucose uptake and insulin production hold their breath during sleep.
Moreover, the reverse process is often observed in medicine, when the deterioration in the quality of sleep causes insulin resistance that precedes diabetes. Therefore, and not only it is necessary to keep yourself in shape by eating right and exercising. Rigid diets are not the best solution for putting yourself in order. You need a balanced and rational diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, sour-milk drinks. When it comes to physical activity, today there are many ways to increase your physical activity without having to carry heavy weights in the gym.
What are the consequences of snoring called doctors?
Pathologies of the cardiovascular system are the first thing a cardiologist can pay attention to a patient with sleep apnea. Due to oxygen starvation, the work of the entire circulatory system is disrupted, the risk of heart attack, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and heart failure increases. Moreover, stopping breathing while snoring can lead to a heart attack and death right during sleep. Therefore, such problems should never be ignored, because the consequences can be very serious.
What else is at risk for a person who snore in a dream? Bronchial asthma is a severe chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that can be exacerbated by sleep apnea. Given that obesity is a provoking factor in the development of asthma, this is not surprising. Heartburn is another unpleasant consequence of snoring, which, if it occurs frequently, can cause gastroesophageal reflux disease, leading to damage to the esophagus.
What to do and how to treat?
Most people with snoring do not go to the doctor, simply because they do not consider it a pathology. For many men, these are some signs of masculinity, brutality. However, such masculinity ruined not a single marriage, because sleeping next to a person making sounds equal to the decibels of a jackhammer is a dubious pleasure. But the health of the snorer himself experiences the greatest harm, of course. Many do not understand which doctor they should go to first. Experts advise starting with a local general practitioner who examines the patient, interviews and, based on the results of diagnostic measures, refers him to a specialist.
The most common cause of snoring is a deviated septum. An ENT doctor can easily see this on a special examination — endoscopy of the nasal cavity and sinuses. Tomography will help confirm or refute the doctor’s guesses. Often the cause of snoring is various malocclusion, which can be corrected by a dentist. But whatever the reasons, a patient with snoring can be helped in any case. To date, the “gold standard” for the treatment of sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, which involves the use of a special mask that pumps air into the airways and thereby creates a constant positive pressure