I Snore, Do I Need a Doctor?

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Everyone at some point or another has snored for different reasons.  Episodic snoring, after all,  is merely the sound produced by  the vibration of the obstructed soft tissues of the upper airway, during sleep. Snoring is a result of conditions that make the upper airway more narrow which can include: obesity, nasal congestion, anatomical abnormalities of the face, thyroid problems, and large tonsils.

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Habitual snoring is less common but can still occur in 44 percent of males and 28 percent of females who are between 30-60 years of age in the general population.  Although some evidence points to snoring being back for you, this is still up for debate.  What we do know is that if you have sleep apnea there are some clear health dangers

this should be the wake-up call you need to discuss your snoring and other symptoms with your doctor.

Mortality

One of the biggest sources of information is called the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort.  This ongoing study has been collecting data for over 20 years.  One of the most scary results is that that all-cause mortality risk, even when adjusted for age, sex, BMI, and other factors was significantly increased in people with OSA. When compared to no OSA there was a 3 fold increase in all cause mortality!


High Blood Pressure

It is a very well known fact also that untreated Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure. The exact reason for this is not entirely understood but ow blood-oxygen levels may be a contributing factor.  Fortunately evidence does show that when OSA is treated blood pressure tends to improve.

Headache
Do you get moring headaches? Researchers found a connection between frequent morning headaches and obstructive sleep apnea.  Some studies have shown that of people who had frequent morning headaches and who snored, 81% had sleep apnea.

Stroke

Moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been shown to increase the risk of ischemic stroke, by as much as three times in men. Although sleep apnea frequently goes undiagnosed, population-based studies indicate that as many as 1 in 15 adults has moderate to severe OSA. Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., are uncovering the mechanisms by which OSA increases ischemic stroke risk, as well as strategies for managing that risk in patients.

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