Snoring is never a positive condition. It provides no benefit to the person who snores. At its most benevolent, snoring is, at least, harmless to the sleeper, though it may still disturb others around them.
A symptom of other conditions, snoring could indicate that the sleep of the snorer isn’t providing the restfulness required for good health. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is potentially serious, and a major contributor to several metabolic conditions as well as threats to your heart and circulatory system. It’s important to deal with your snoring if it’s causing OSA.
Snoring sometimes results from anatomical conditions, so choosing an ear, nose, and throat specialist who is also an accomplished surgeon expands the range of treatment options you enjoy without referrals to other practitioners. Alexis D. Furze MD, FACS is the ideal choice in Newport Beach California, since Dr. Furze is certified as an otolaryngologist and facial plastic surgeon, an unbeatable combination if your snoring is due to a physical abnormality.
Patterns of snoring
Generally, even, regular snoring doesn’t indicate OSA. The word apnea means that breathing is interrupted, which is where the problems of OSA start. The pattern of snoring associated with OSA builds to a crescendo before pausing, followed by a gulping or snorting episode, after which the snoring crescendo starts to build again.
If you’ve observed this pattern in a family member, or if someone close to you describes your snoring in these terms, then chances are good you’re suffering from OSA. Other symptoms you might observe include:
- Tiredness through the day
- Waking with a dry mouth or throat
- Waking with a headache
- Poor concentration through the day
- Moodiness and irritability
- Elevated blood pressure
When snoring results from OSA, the brain wakes the person just enough so that they can alter their sleep position and resume breathing. They may not be aware this has happened, even when it occurs dozens of times a night.
Complications of OSA
Tiredness, alertness, and poor concentration can be difficult for anyone who has a poor night of sleep. When OSA becomes chronic, this may be a daily issue. There are also some serious long-term health threats associated with OSA.
OSA can cause your body to resist the effects of insulin, the hormone that opens your cells to accept blood glucose as fuel. When you develop insulin resistance, these glucose levels rise, potentially causing type 2 diabetes, a condition with many serious complications of its own.
OSA causes low blood oxygen levels. Your body reacts by elevating your blood pressure to compensate, straining your cardiovascular system. The risk of other heart problems such as heart failure and heart attack rise with increased OSA severity. You’re also at greater risk of arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms, and stroke.
Drugs and surgery
Some types of medications, including opioid painkillers, sedatives, and general anesthetics can make OSA more severe. OSA patients also suffer from a statistically higher rate of post-surgical complications.
Contact Alexis D. Furze MD, FACS at the first sign of irregular snoring patterns. You can book your consultation by calling the office at 949-205-7745. OSA is potentially too big a problem to ignore, so make an appointment with Dr. Furze today.