Snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. It’s unhealthy. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly and you feel tired even after a full night's sleep.
Are certain people more likely to suffer from snoring or sleep apnea?
No. Whether you are a man or woman (although men do snore more), young or old, thin or heavy, snoring and sleep apnea can affect everyone, including young children.
Why is sleep apnea a potential health risk?
Sleep apnea has been linked to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, depression, and even erectile dysfunction. Drowsy driving caused by sleep apnea may cause accidents. In severe, untreated cases, death may also be a result of sleep apnea.
What about snoring? Does it always point to having sleep apnea?
No, snoring does not necessarily mean the person has sleep apnea. However, studies have shown that loud snoring can have devastating consequences all by itself. Loud snorers have 40 percent greater odds of having hypertension, 34 percent greater odds of having a heart attack, and 67 percent greater odds of having a stroke than people who do not snore.
What can be done to help sleep apnea?
Treatment can ease your symptoms and may help prevent heart problems and other complications. One option is a CPAP machine, which can be provided by your medical doctor. Dentists can also provide devices that prevent and reduce snoring.