It’s normal for many to snore a little whilst sleeping. However, snoring which sounds more like gasping or choking could be a sign of sleep apnea. This is when a person stops breathing for brief moments several times a night while they are still sleeping. This puts extra strain on the heart, increasing the risk of a heart attack.
Snoring refers to a sleeping pattern in which a person breathes while emitting a snorting or grunting sound.
The National Sleep Foundation suggest that 90 million people in the United States snore.
Snoring might become more dangerous as people age and it could lead to heart disease.
There are different types of sleep apnea but the most common one is obstructive sleep apnea.
This condition affects breathing patterns while sleeping, causing a person to stop breathing and start again repeatedly.
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Heart attack: A sound when you sleep could be a warning of the deadly condition
In a study with ScienceDaily, snoring being the early sign of future health risks was analysed.
The study noted: “Snoring may be more than a common bedtime nuisance.” According to the study, snoring, even without sleep apnea, causes thickening and abnormalities in the carotid artery – a potential precursor to atherosclerosis.
Dr Robert Deeb with the department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Henry Ford said: “Snoring is more than a bedtime annoyance and it shouldn’t be ignored.
“Patients need to seek treatment in the same way they would if they had sleep apnea, high blood pressure or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
“Our study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that isolated snoring may not be as benign as first suspected.
“So instead of kicking your snoring bed partner out of the room or spending sleepless nights elbowing him or her, seek out medical treatment for the snorer.
Heart attack: Snoring and sleep apnea could signal the condition
A new study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiology Society of North America found that obstructive sleep apnea and snoring may lead to earlier impairment of cardiac function in women than in men.
Moreover, the findings suggested that OSA may be vastly under diagnosed among snorers.
The study proved that sleep apnea creates an increased risk for left ventricular and more rarely, right ventricular dysfunction in the heart.
For people concerned about loud snoring or have worries about sleep apnea, speak to a doctor.
A doctor can check whether you may need a sleep study to see if you may have this condition.
If you do, you may need a CPAR machine to smooth out your breathing while you sleep.
Health experts warn that snoring is a bigger risk factor for stroke and heart attack than smoking, being overweight or having high cholesterol.