Snoring can be a warning light for a serious medical problem

It is important to know: snoring can be a warning light for a serious medical problem - sleep apnea. Neglecting snoring may result in a heart attack or a stroke.

Snoring, a serious medical problem.

We do not tend to attribute too much meaning to snoring. 

True, they are very annoying to those who sleep next to us and may often cause tensions, but in most cases we are so used to them that dealing with them is nothing more than a joke.

Important to know: snoring is often used as a warning light, behind which there is a problem that requires serious attention. 

Snoring can be a symptom of "sleep apnea" - a condition in which there is an upper respiratory tract obstruction, which causes difficulty breathing for more than ten seconds, its more frequent during the night. 

The blockage leads to a decrease in blood oxygenation and suffocation due to an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood.

Why does this occur? How does apnea affect the body?

As mentioned, the causes of sleep apnea are related to obstruction of the upper respiratory tract. The blockage may be caused by a problematic anatomical structure. Other problems may increase the risk of developing the phenomenon: excess weight, smoking, alcohol and the use of certain medications.

The syndrome may disrupt brain activity and cause, damage to the brain areas that affect concentration, memory and reaction time. 

Sleep apnea may also increase blood pressure, and as a result increase the risk of heart disease. Fatigue is a common problem in these patients.

In addition, studies have linked sleep apnea to increased risk of stroke. Not surprisingly, those with respiratory problems are also more likely to be involved in road accidents.

How do I know if I have sleep apnea?

At this point, it is important to calm down: for most people, snoring is nothing more than a disturbing and harmless noise. However, in cases where snoring is indeed a symptom of sleep apnea, it is important to address the problem soon, in order to improve the quality of life.

The best way to know if you have sleep apnea is to have a sleep diagnosis. If you or your partner notice unusual snoring and frequent gagging during the night, you may want to visit your Doctor and share it with him.

He or she may recommend an ENT test to monitor your sleep situation in a professional laboratory, or with a home appliance to monitor quality of sleep. 

Sleeping with an appliance for home use is a great choice for those who have trouble sleeping in an outdoor laboratory, but it is important to know that a home inspection is less comprehensive than a professional investigation in the laboratory.

There are different degrees of severity of obstructive sleep apnea: mild to moderate and severe, depending on the amount of respiratory breaks and the reduction of oxygen in the blood.

How do you deal with the problem?

There are now several ways. Treatment is determined by the degree of severity and how it affects the patient's lifestyle. These are the main and most familiar treatments:

Lifestyle change:

If the problem is caused by excess weight (and not by a problematic anatomical structure), it is possible to achieve significant relief or even solve the problem by weight loss. In such a situation, it will be recommended to accompany a dietitian to adjust to a healthier menu, exercise and avoid smoking and alcohol consumption. 

It is important to maintain good sleep and hygiene, for example, try not to watch television and not to use screens in the bedroom.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP):

This is a mask worn during sleep on the face or nose to inject air with constant pressure to the respiratory tract. 

The device is considered to be effective in reducing nighttime respiration and maintaining more continuous sleep. However, the device may also cause side effects such as nasal congestion or headaches.

Dental device:

The device fixes the jaw and tongue at the front of the mouth - making room for air during sleep. The device is suitable for treating mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. Consult an expert physician who will adjust your device to your exact measurements if there is an anatomical possibility.


A surgical procedure in the oral cavity area, tongue base area, is performed only when all other methods have failed to assist the patient. Before surgery, a second test is performed during sleep, which reveals exactly where the obstruction is located in the airways and how the blockage can be treated. The doctor will formulate a focused action plan that is appropriate for the anatomical structure of the patient. Surgery is usually performed on the nose, palate, tonsils, tongue base or under the tongue.

In conclusion: Sometimes snoring is "just" an annoying phenomenon, but snoring can also warn of a serious danger. If you feel tired and unfocused even after a long night's sleep, you may want to check whether this is actually a sleep apnea. It is important to address the problem, to improve the quality of life.

Always consult a doctor!