Snoring – Could It Be Serious?

Snoring – Could It Be Serious?

Snoring is often the source of many jokes. In truth, it can actually be the hallmark of a rather serious health problem known as sleep apnea. There are different types of snoring, and not all who snore suffer from sleep apnea.

If you’ve tried lifestyle changes such as losing weight and quitting or reducing smoking and alcohol consumption in addition to changing your sleeping position – all without results, then you may want to consult with a physician to rule out sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which you literally stop breathing several times throughout the night while sleeping. In some cases, the duration of an interruption is over a minute and the interruptions can occur as many as hundreds of times during any given night.

This condition can be fatal, so it’s important that you consult your doctor if you suspect that your snoring is more than a moderate irritation. You should also feel that your sleep is far less productive and feel tired throughout the day if you suffer from sleep apnea.

The good news for those who suffer from sleep apnea is that there are many treatments that are available that do not involve surgery. Chances are that your physician will want to try the less invasive methods before resorting to surgical procedures that may or may not be necessary in order to properly treat your case of sleep apnea.

The first step your doctor is likely to take is to identify the specific apnea that plagues your sleep. There are three different types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Obstructive is the one you will hear the most about, since it’s the most common one.

Once your particular apnea is discovered, you and your physician will work out a treatment plan in order to correct or minimize your apnea. Common treatments for obstructive sleep apnea include behavioral changes such as diet and exercise, medications such as nasal sprays with steroids, thyroid replacement therapy medications, and weight loss medications, dental appliances and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, which are devices that deliver constant air pressure through a facemask in order to keep the airways open.

While these devices and treatment options are not one size fits all, they can be highly effective when used either alone or in conjunction with other treatment options. Physical fitness tends to be a big problem for those with sleep apnea.

The cycle is vicious with the result of the apnea being a lack of energy that would be required in order to burn off the necessary calories to achieve weight loss. Talk to your physician if you’re overweight and suffering from sleep apnea.  He or she may be able to prescribe medication for weight loss that will assist with both.  The worst thing you can do for sleep apnea is to do nothing

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