Ever worry about snoring and sleep apnoea? Do you snore? Does your partner’s snoring keep you awake?
Well snoring can be a sign that someone is suffering from Sleep Apnoea
Many people think sleep apnoea (spelt apnea in The US) is just an inconvenience for those who suffer from it. Others may think it’s unfortunate for those who have to listen to their partner’s snoring.
Snoring and Sleep Apnoea
But sleep apnoea can also be lethal and prove fatal!
“A person can go for weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without air,” says Dr. Daniel Klauer,an expert in TMD and Sleep Apnoea.
“Waking up gasping for air is more than an inconvenience; it can be life-threatening. People who have sleep apnea should not shrug it off as something minor.”
Actress Carrie Fisher’s death was attributed partly to sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is often listed as a contributing factor in unexplained deaths.
Disturbances in sleep bring decreased levels of oxygen to the brain. This, in turn, can lead to a host of health issues such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. A 15-year study of over 10,000 adults, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, also found strong links between sleep apnea and cardiovascular diseases.
Deaths from sleep apnea alone are not all that common. However it does elevate the risk of dying from other issues. People with untreated sleep apnea are much more likely to have a heart attack and have a higher risk of having a stroke. Horrifyingly, they also have three times the risk of a premature death. One study showed that 42% of the deaths in sleep apnea patients were due to heart disease.
4 Signs of Sleep Apnoea
Around 35% of married couples sleep in separate bedrooms because of snoring. Snoring isn’t always a sign of sleep apnea but it is typically one of the symptoms. If snoring is accompanied with choking or gagging sounds through the night, then the sleeper is experiencing sleep apnea.
Patient Stops Breathing During Sleep
Sleep apnoea sufferers stop breathing 30 or more times an hour for a minimum of 10 seconds or more at a time. The interruptions in sleep lessen the oxygen flow to the brain, and the brain doesn’t function well on low oxygen.
Most victims of sleep apnea say they feel tired most of the time. And since a person with sleep apnea typically has shallow breathing or wakes up constantly, this explains why they are tired during the daytime. They are also usually drowsy and irritable which are symptoms of somebody who is simply not getting enough sleep.
This is the condition known as bruxism. Sleep apnoea sufferers may awake with sensitive teeth or tight jaw muscles. It happens because the breathing airway is obstructed. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 1 in 4 people with obstructive apnoea grind their teeth.
“Too many people may think their partner’s snoring is just an inconvenience, so they move into the next bedroom and think the problem is solved,” says Dr. Klauer. “Many times, the person who suffers from sleep apnea just gets used to the snoring and waking in the middle of the night. So once their partner moves into another bedroom, they stop taking it seriously. But to ignore those symptoms and not talk to your doctor could be a fatal mistake.”