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What is the Connection Between Snoring and Health?

Article Details
  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Many people snore at some time or another in their lives, but people who snore loudly, consistently, and on an ongoing basis are often at risk for other health issues. The connection between snoring and health may vary depending on a person's situation. In some cases, a person's existing health issues may be the cause of the snoring; in others, snoring may lead to some potentially serious problems. Some people fall into both of these scenarios. Heavy snorers should likely consult with their doctor to determine why the problem is occurring and address the underlying issue before it leads to more serious complications.

Often, snoring and health issues a person already has go hand in hand. One of the most common problems of this type is being overweight. Snoring is often caused by tissue in the nose and throat blocking air flow; those who are overweight or obese typically have extra tissue in these areas and so are more likely to snore. Though snoring is a very noticeable and sometimes annoying effect of carrying excess weight, it is the other health issues related to being overweight such as heart disease and diabetes that are the primary concern.

Another factor related to snoring and health is smoking. Smokers have a much greater tendency to be snorers than non-smokers, probably due to the damage done to their airways by smoke. This is just one additional negative effect from smoking, in addition to much larger concerns such as cancer and emphysema.

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Sleep apnea is another issue common to heavy snorers. This condition causes the muscles in the throat to relax too much, stopping the person's breathing and interrupting their sleep. Those with sleep apnea often fall into the category of being overweight as well, though this is not always the case. The condition can lead to some serious side effects and health problems, including daytime drowsiness, memory and concentration issues, and cardiovascular problems.

Snoring can also cause new health issues to arise. There is strain put on the body to breathe correctly when the airways are blocked as they are during snoring, and health issues can arise from this. It is particularly hard on the heart, which is forced to work more than normal pushing air in and out. This can lead to an increase in blood pressure, and eventually to even more severe problems like heart attack and stroke.

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