In addition to the very serious cardiovascular dangers related to sleep apnea, snoring itself is associated with a significant increase in your stroke risk related to carotid atherosclerosis. Carotid atherosclerosis is when your carotid arteries become hardened and narrowed, and snoring can be a major contributor to this. The vibrations from snoring can cause tiny cuts to appear in your arteries, and when these cuts heal, they create scar tissue that is not as smooth and flexible as the original tissue.
This inflexible, rough tissue contributes to the development of arterial plaque, deposits that accumulate in the arteries. These deposits can then break off and become lodged in the brain, cutting off the blood supply and causing irreparable damage, a stroke.
Snoring leads to poor sleep both for the snorer and anyone who shares a bed, bedroom, or even a house with the snorer. Interrupted sleep prevents people from achieving the deep, restorative levels of sleep necessary to rejuvenate overnight. This means that snorers and those affected by snoring are more likely to be tired in the morning, more likely to doze off during repetitive tasks, and more likely to experience accidents. They are also more likely to develop mood disorders and cognitive problems.
Snoring has been strongly linked to poor sexual satisfaction among men. While obstructive sleep apnea has been strongly associated with low desire and erectile dysfunction, snoring is independently associated with a twofold increase in the risk of low sexual satisfaction among men who have otherwise healthy sexual function.
About half of women snore during their third trimester of pregnancy. Snoring women are more likely to experience elevated blood pressure, which can harm a developing fetus. Elevated blood pressure can lead to impaired development, low blood supply through the placenta, and oxygen deprivation for the baby.
Poor sleep also contributes to the risk of domestic violence in a home. When both partners are not getting good sleep, even minor arguments can escalate to dangerous levels and can become violent. Often snoring features at the center of the argument, and many people have stabbed, shot, or otherwise attacked their partner because of snoring.
Take Snoring Seriously
If you or your partner are a heavy snorer, don’t ignore it or dismiss it as a minor nuisance that you can live with, because there is a risk you simply can’t live with it.
Fortunately, snoring treatment can be very effective. To learn how it can help you, please call (303) 691-0267 for an appointment at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver.
Self Screening: Do You Have Problems Sleeping?
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale
This self-administered test is used to determine your level of daytime sleepiness which can be caused by sleep apnea.