How Snoring Affects Health
The most common condition requiring treatment is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) which is a type of snoring associated with stopping breathing during sleep. This causes a reduction in sleep quality in both patients and their bed partners
How well do you sleep? causes daytime fatigue and sleepiness as a result. OSA lies at the end of a spectrum of snoring which has become increasingly worse through adulthood.
OSA matters for 2 reasons:
1. OSA disrupts the household, disturbs and worries bed partners
2. OSA is associated with other medical complications such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes and disturbance of cholesterol metabolism (collectively called Metabolic Syndrome) which greatly increases the risk of developing heart disease and strokes. Treating sleep apnoea reduces these risks significantly.
Sufferers from snoring and OSA do NOT wake themselves up because of the noise they are making. Noise does disturb the bed partner who has often taken to sleeping in another room, but the reason that the snorer has disturbed sleep is because of the reduction in the quality of their breathing which results from the snoring and apnoea.
Severe snoring can reduce the depth of breathing as the back of the throat closes and the increase in the effort required to breath causes the disturbance to sleep. If you stop breathing due to an obstruction in the throat, you will wake up usually with a start (watch the person opposite you on the train asleep and you will see this happen).
Either a breathing aid called a CPAP machine or an orthodontic dental splint helps to stop any associated snoring and alleviates symptoms.
Both are provided by our unit, together with a range of other specialist treatments when required.
How do I know whether I suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
You should definitely seek medical advice if you suffer from some of the following:
· Stopping or struggling to breath when sleeping
· Heavy snoring
· Weight gain over your adult life (especially in the belly region)
· Increased collar size as an adult approaching 17 inches or more
· High blood pressure and adult diabetes
· Excessive tiredness or sleepiness in the daytime
· Declining motivation in life
Medical complications of sleep apnoea
The typical patient with sleep apnoea
The difference between snoring and sleep apnoea