If You Snore, You Might Have a Potentially Life-threatening Disorder
Many years ago, whenever I used to sleep, my husband said that the house would rumble like an earthquake. My snoring, he said, was just horrible. Of course, I didn’t think I snored and I thought he was full of bologna. About four years ago, I kept falling asleep during the day at my computer. I was always tired and would always take a nap in the afternoon but even that wouldn’t help my sleepiness. I talked to my physician about my tiredness and about how I always would fall asleep and he thought I might want to do a sleep test. I said sure, why not. After all, it couldn’t hurt. I spent a night at the hospital with wires hooked to me and people watching me sleep. Afterward they brought me this strange contraption they called a CPAP mask and told me to try to sleep with it on. When I put it on my face, air rushed into my nose. It was a little unnerving at first but I got used to it. After about a week I got my test results back and I had been diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Many times a person does not recall waking up but sleep is disrupted momentarily. Lack of sleep and extreme daytime sleepiness occur as a result of this happening. Sleep apnea can trigger hypertension (high blood pressure) and dangerous heart problems if this is not treated.
One of the forms of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and is the form I have. It is the most common and most severe form. This type occurs when the airway closes and remains blocked, resulting in obstructed airflow. As the force to breathe increases, the diaphragm and chest muscles labor harder. The blood pressure rises and the heart can beat sporadically or even pause for several seconds, check over here.
When the breathing stops, the oxygen level falls in the blood and the heart must work harder. The person must awaken for a moment to continue breathing. The throat muscles are activated when sleep is momentarily interrupted.
If someone tells you that you snore a lot, it is a good idea to talk this over with your doctor. He may recommend weight loss or CPAP therapy which I use. I wear a light mask over my nose while I sleep. The mask has a hose that is hooked up to a compressor that forces air through the nose and into the airway therefore opening it up so that I can breath and not wake up all the time during the night. I also use oxygen at night thru the CPAP mask because my oxygen level still drops really low at night. My CPAP machine also has a humidifier attached to it so I don’t have any problems with a dry nose in the morning. My husband teases me that I look like Darth Vader but it has probably saved my life. I’ve become so used to it that I can’t go to sleep without it.
So if you snore, talk to your doctor about it and get a sleep evaluation study soon. It may save your life.