Can snoring really kill?

Dental Surgeons say it can – they’ve found out why snoring can take life.

Snoring can indicate very serious upper airway disorders, and these blocked airways will increase Blood Pressure significantly, damaging the arteries and often leading to a Stroke.

Although considered harmless, snoring can actually indicate a very serious medical condition called sleep apnoea. Marked by irregular breathing, sleep apnoea often causes sufferers to stop breathing completely for up to several seconds and has even been linked to stroke and heart disease in some patients.

“When persons with sleep apnoea fall asleep, their tongue falls back into their throat, blocking their airway,” Dr. Arthur Friedlander, an oral surgeon who worked on the study conducted at University of California’s School of Dentistry, said in a recent statement.

“As they struggle for breath, their blood pressure simply soars and this rise in blood pressure damages the inner walls of the carotid arteries lining the sides of the neck,” he added. “Cholesterol and calcium stick to these injury sites and amass into calcified plaques, which block blood flow to the brain. The result of all this is often a massive stroke.”

According to Dr. Friedlander, these deposits of calcium deposits are merely the tip of the iceberg. “The X-ray can’t show the true size of the plaque, which is also made up of fat, platelets, and other soft tissue.” When a person is suffering from sleep apnoea, air cannot flow in or out of the nose or mouth. Oxygen is not taken in so carbon dioxide builds to dangerous levels in the blood.

“It’s just like pressing a pillow over someone’s face.” Friedlander said.

At the other side of the world to this, further recent clinical research by leading anaesthesiologists in Japan clearly demonstrates that manoeuvres such as lifting the chin, and thrusting the jaw forward, markedly improve airway potency in both adults and children.

`This clinical trial information demonstrated how using a chinstrap alone improved obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) symptoms as well as, or better than the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) which necessitates the supply of oxygen throughout the night by using a face mask – not without its side effects.

Further tests with dental mouthpieces, alone, and also combined with the use of the chinstrap in more serious cases, underlined even more the ease of treating sleep apnoea this way – and the clear advantages of doing so.

This important research clearly demonstrates the easier method of treatment but don’t attempt self-cure. It is important to refer the problem that you may have to your General Practitioner.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is a significant and dangerous condition – that often kills if left untreated. OSA symptoms are often responsible for daytime sleepiness, motor vehicle crashes, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

Age is not at all relevant to the equation either. Make sure that you check for the symptoms in your children and grandchildren where surprisingly it is found more often than you may think and is best resolved immediately. Children’s behavioural problems may be linked to their sleep habits, according to a number of new studies. Children who snore often are nearly twice as likely as other children to have attention deficit and hyperactivity problems.

So if you find any symptoms of OSA, or simply heavy snoring, act now. Consult your GP. The evidence clearly shows that a life may depend on it.

By John Redfern

Take a look at our YouTube video for more info.