Not many of us pray for a good nights’ sleep, because we take sleep so much for granted. Yet, there are countless adults who are incapable of getting this much-desired sleep because of a simple but nagging and noisy problem snoring. While 50% snore occasionally, 25% of the population snores habitually. Of course there are no statistics available of partners who also remain sleepless because the spouse is snoring!
The worst part about snoring is that the condition, if not treated, deteriorates with age. If you thought that old people need more restive sleep, think again. Snoring is also a ‘wake up’ call that warns us of our deteriorating health condition. If ignored, snoring could lead to more serious and life-threatening condition called sleep apnea. The more we know about snoring disorders, the better equipped we are to cure or control the condition.
Two Types of Common Snoring Disorders
There are two categories of snoring disorders: Primary snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA. Primary snoring is more common and is considered to be a precursor to the more serious types of snoring disorders, like the OSA which may develop in the future.
To understand the manifestations of these snoring disorders, let us consider the OSA first. Here the sufferer wakes up frequently gasping for breath and at times their breathing stops for up to 10 seconds. These types of snoring disorders are commonly seen in obese males. Cessation of breathing means that the brain is not receiving the necessary oxygen. This can be a serious issue if ignored.
With OSA, breathing cessation can happen from a couple of times to about 50 times in an hour, every night. People suffering from such snoring disorders often suffer from daytime sleepiness and should take extra precaution when driving.
How You Should Test for a Snoring Disorder
Chances are that you are not too sure whether you have any of these types of snoring disorders. The best option for you is to visit a snoring doctor who may suggest a sleep study to assess the severity of the condition.
However, you have to remember that OSA is normally associated with high blood pressure, stroke and other cardiac complications. In case such a disorder is ruled out, your doctor might refer you to a dentist, who would help you with an oral appliance to cure your snoring.
Snoring disorders can also be symptomatic of several other serious health conditions like hypertension, brain ischemia and asthma. Smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, wrong sleeping posture and many other factors can contribute to the blockage of normal air passage, preventing you from breathing normally.
What are the characteristic symptoms of primary snoring? While these are considered to be early predictors of sleep apnea, and one of the more common snoring disorders, the condition progresses between 35 and 40 years of age amongst people who are also gaining weight.
These disorders are known for their loud snoring noises and can be caused by many types of anatomical defects including abnormally narrow oropharynx, deviated nasal septum, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, temporary or permanent nasal obstruction, abnormalities of the jaw, enlargement of the tongue, etc. Such disorders are aggravated by alcohol consumption and smoking.