Snoring can be a warning sign for a very serious condition called sleep apnea.
During sleep apnea, the tongue collapses in the back of the throat, resulting in an airflow reduction of 80-100% for a period of at least 10 seconds. These 10 seconds are enough to drop the blood oxygen level by 3-4%.
The short term effects of sleep apnea are: daytime sleepiness, decreased attention and increased incidence of vehicle accidents. Health consequences are related to increased risk of diabetes, depression, hypertension, increased risk of both hear attack and stroke, atrial fibrillation, gastroesophageal reflux, neurocognitive impairment, mood disturbances, cognitive memory loss, obesity and hormonal imbalances.
Approximately 91% of all apnea patients snore, however not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring occurs in 40 to 50% of the general population. It is a sign indicating something is wrong with the airway and breathing during sleep.
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