Though many of us find snoring annoying, little was known about the health aspects of snoring till recently. Snoring causes discomfort not only to the individual who snores but also to those around them. While many of us may have thought of snoring as something harmless, research aimed at identifying what snoring reveals about your health suggests that snoring may not be as harmless as is thought and points to serious health issues.
Greater Risk of Thickening of the Carotid Artery
Studies that were carried out to discover what snoring reveals also laid clear the changes that take place in the carotid artery because of snoring. Research suggests that snoring puts an individual at greater risk of abnormalities and thickening of the carotid artery than those who are facing health issues like high cholesterol and obesity.
Your carotid artery is responsible for providing your brain with oxygenated blood, and therefore its thickening may have serious health consequences attached. Practitioners have suggested that individuals who snore should seek treatment for this in a similar manner as they would for other medical conditions, like high blood pressure.
Research also revealed that cardiovascular and other health issues are associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a sleep disorder in which the result is an airway collapse in the throat while a person is asleep. This leads to periodic pauses in breathing and loud snoring. However, what is alarming about this is that the risk associated with cardiovascular diseases may actually be present before snoring is noticed and may go undetected while the airway collapses. This may culminate in obstructive sleep apnea.
Intima-media thickness is among the first signs that point to carotid artery disease and studies suggest that people who snore, as compared to people who don’t, were found to have significantly greater carotid artery intima-media thickness.
Snore Interval Index and Apnea Hypopnea Index
Another study conducted to find out what snoring reveals found a relation between AHI, the apnea hypopnea index, and the snore interval index. Snore time interval index is the measurement of how often an individual’s snores fall between ten and one hundred seconds. Similarly, API is the term that is given to the severity of OSA and is determined by monitoring the sleeping person’s individual airflow in a laboratory environment. The study found that higher snore interval index is associated with higher AHI and, consequently, lower snore interval index is associated with lower AHI.
Chronic Acid Reflux
Individuals who suffer chronic acid reflux are also likely to develop snoring symptoms owing to the fact that the disease results in the restriction of the airways, which may lead to snoring.
Snoring is therefore not a harmless condition and can lead to serious health issues, such as the thickening of the carotid artery, cardiovascular issues, and intima-media thickness. Therefore, it is important that affected individuals get snoring treated, much as they would seek treatment for other important health issues and conditions.