If you sleep next to a snorer you know how a noisy sleeper affects you. You should be aware that the snorer sleeping next to you may be at risk of several other problems, over and above your animosity.
Snoring is the term used to describe the sound made during sleep when a person's airway is narrowed, making breathing more difficult.
During sleep the muscles in the throat relax, decreasing the width of the sleeper's airway. As the oxygen that the body requires remains the same whether breathing is normal or not, a decreased airway causes air to travel faster into the body. The snoring sound is a result of the vibration of the soft palate, uvula and surrounding tissues as the air travels through the narrow relaxed airway.
No matter how loud the snorer sleeping beside you is, chances are he or she has never heard the snore and may be unaware of the severity of the snoring. Snorers may experience headaches, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating, and may even be at greater risk of stroke and heart problems.
Snoring can be a symptom of a far more serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.
A person with obstructive sleep apnea has his or her breathing obstructed completely, causing involuntary awakenings during the night, often gasping for air. Obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed in a sleep clinic where a patient's sleep is observed and monitored for a night.
Some other symptoms that you may notice in your partner that indicated that they may have obstructive sleep apnea include: headache, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), fatigue, and neck issues.
Dr. Freedman has extensive experience with the medical areas of sleep and can help you or the snorer beside you to sleep through the night.