You may think that snoring is just an annoying or embarrassing sleep appearance, but this seemingly ordinary snoring can cause many health risks. Snoring, caused by severe sleep apnea, can cause people to die 40% more early than their peers. This is because of the association between this sleep disorder and a variety of health risks. Experts summarized 10 health risks related to snoring or sleep apnea.
The intensity of snoring is closely related to the risk of carotid atherosclerosis. Simply put, the louder and longer you snore every night, the higher your risk of stroke. If you feel sleepy during the day, or there are signs of sleep apnea, or there are other health risks (such as high blood pressure), snoring should be treated in time.
2. Heart disease
There is an association between sleep apnea and cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and coronary heart disease, which may eventually lead to a heart attack. Data show that people with sleep apnea are twice as likely to have nonfatal and fatal heart attacks. Clinical studies have shown that CPAP is effective in the treatment of this sleep disorder, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
People who snore for a long time or have sleep apnea syndrome have an increased risk of arrhythmias. People with sleep apnea are more likely to develop atrial fibrillation, the most common form of arrhythmia. This is because apnea can affect the conduction system of the heart; or because obstructive sleep apnea can cause the left atrium to expand in a long period of time.
4. Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common disease in people with sleep apnea syndrome. The reason why sleep apnea patients are easy to suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease is that the inflow and outflow of air is closed disorderly by the throat during sleep, which causes the change of pressure to suck the food in the stomach back to the esophagus. Both diseases are associated with being overweight, and when people return to normal weight, they lose weight.
Snoring or sleep apnea caused by insufficient sleep is more harmful. A strong sense of drowsiness during the day increases the risk of car accidents while driving. A survey of 618 adults' health information and driving data for more than 10 years shows that the more sleepy people are during the day, the greater the risk of car accidents while driving. The risk is greater when they drive alone.
6. Mental health problems
Sleep apnea will affect the psychological state of patients, leading to paranoia and severe depression. In fact, there is a recognized correlation between sleep apnea, snoring and depression. A recent study of 74 snorers found that the more spiteful they were during the day, the more likely they were to have mild depression and anxiety symptoms. The treatment of sleep apnea is helpful to relieve depression.
A study of 268 habitual snorers found a link between frequent early morning headaches and sleep disorders, including insomnia and sleep apnea. Snorers with frequent headaches have lower quality of life than those without headaches.
Urination twice or more times a night is called nocturia. For some people, it's because they lose control of the bladder. However, there is also a link between nocturia and snoring. Men over the age of 55 who often need to urinate at night may have both benign prostatic enlargement and obstructive sleep apnea. Another study showed a link between nocturia and sleep apnea.
9. Fetal complications
Snoring in the last three months of pregnancy is usually caused by weight gain. More worryingly, snoring is often associated with an increased risk of fetal complications. Although its physiological mechanism is not clear, the researchers speculate that disturbed sleep will have a negative impact on all aspects of fetal health. Women who snore heavily during pregnancy should turn to an obstetrician or gynecologist in a timely manner.
Half of overweight people also suffer from sleep apnea, in part because excess weight can build up around their necks, making it difficult to breathe normally at night. The good news: weight loss can improve symptoms associated with this sleep disorder.