As many as one in four people in the UK snore and it's thought to affect twice as many men as women, but what happens when snoring becomes dangerous?
Snoring can actually be a symptom of another disorder called obstructive sleep apnoea which can cause very serious health risks. Sleep apnoea is mainly a problem for middle-aged men – up to four per cent are thought to suffer from it – although it can affect both sexes and all ages.
What is sleep apnoea?
During sleep, the throat becomes very narrow and even closes, interrupting breathing and causing blood oxygen levels to dip and the sufferer to wake repeatedly. Sleep apnoea is diagnosed when these incidents where breathing is interrupted last for more than 10 seconds each time and occur more than 10 times every hour.
Generally, this incidents can occur many hundreds of times in the night – the sufferer rarely realises they are waking, but they will certainly start to notice the problems associated with disturbed sleep patterns.
Symptoms of sleep apnoea:
headaches when you wake in the morning
lack of focus throughout the day
piling on the pounds
loss of libido
anxiety and depression
Why is sleep apnoea so dangerous?
Lack of sleep will start to impact on your ability to perform normal activities and poor concentration can lead to accidents. Twenty per cent of crashes on the motorways are caused by excessive sleepiness and, according to the British Thoracic Society, people with sleep apnoea are seven to 12 times more likely to have a road accident than those without the condition.
Sleep apnoea can also develop into serious health conditions, increasing the risk of high blood pressure, cardiac disease, stroke and diabetes. There are a number of options to help you manage sleep apnoea; treatment with the CPAP device can reduce blood pressure to such an extent that cardiac risk may decrease by 20 per cent and stroke by 40 per cent over five to ten years.
So, if you are suffering from excessive sleepiness and other symptoms, then call 01892 740671 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment with Mr Julian Hamann.