It can disrupt everyone's sleep and lead to severe health problems.
Approximately forty-five percent of Americans snore occasionally.
Mild cases can be treated by changing sleeping habits or by using over the counter treatments such as nasal sprays and strips.
Snoring is a more common condition among men or people who are overweight.
The biggest problem caused by snoring is lack of sleep.
Disrupted sleep does not allow the body to repair itself properly.
Prolonged sleep disturbance can eventually lead to cardio vascular problems, immune system deficiencies, reduced performance, and daytime fatigue.
Loss of sleep due to mild conditions can also bring about other types of sleeping disorders.
Mild snoring is annoying, but can be resolved quite easily without medical treatment.
Severe snoring can be a sign of a more serious condition that requires diagnosis and treatment.
If you or someone you know snores on a regular basis, it may be a symptom of sleep apnea.
Loud snoring is one of the most noticeable signs of this type of sleep disorder.
Apnea is a condition where the airway from the nose to the lungs becomes partially or completely blocked.
When you are awake, your muscles keep the airway open making breathing easy.
However, your muscles are relaxed while sleeping and this allows the airway to become blocked.
A small collapse results in loud snoring and requires more effort to breath regularly.
Obstructive apnea leads to a full collapse ranging from seconds to minutes.
Breathing stops until your brain realizes a hazard exists and then you wake up gasping for air.
This can occur many times throughout the night without any memory of it happening.
What symptoms should you look for besides loud snoring? Things such as pauses in breathing, choking, and gasping during sleep are all signs of apnea.
An untreated sleep disorder such as this will cause memory, learning, and concentration troubles.
Behavior problems such as mood swings, irritability, and depression are also possible.
Sleep is necessary for blood pressure control, regulatory functions, and to keep your immune system strong.
It allows your body to produce the necessary hormones it needs to repair itself.
Getting enough sleep will contribute to a longer and better life.
You are less likely to catch viruses, suffer from chronic diseases, or develop psychological illnesses such as anxiety.
The first part of treatment for apnea is a proper diagnosis.
If someone else lives with you, they can help you determine if apnea may be present by monitoring your sleep.
Otherwise you can record yourself sleeping to see if any of the symptoms are occurring.
A sleep diary can help you keep track of symptoms experienced each night.
Note foods and medications taken.
Try changing your sleep habits and using over the counter methods to resolve snoring.
If nothing works, it is time to see your doctor.
This condition can be fatal if left untreated.
Your doctor can help diagnose the problem and recommend treatments to minimize it.