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Snoring - A Silent Killer?

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Why can snoring be dangerous?

Snoring brings about intense fluctuations of pressure inside the rib cage, which in some cases, can have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system. It could be shown that snorers suffer from various cardiovascular disorders, as myocardial infarction, stroke and high blood pressure, more often than non-snorers.

What is sleep apnea?

A lot of snorers show breathing cessations during sleep which can last for minutes and occur many times each night.

These apneas go along with a significant reduction of oxygen in the blood, leading to so-called ‘arousals’ which are responsible for a disruption of the normal sleep profile (a healthy sleep profile is essential to the proper functioning of a range of mechanisms).

What are the major symptoms?

The persons affected are mostly overweight, snore and suffer from tiredness during daytime (‘Excessive Daytime Sleepiness’).

What are the dangers of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea has a considerable impact not only on sleep quality, but also on the function of different organ systems, particularly the cardiovascular system. There is an increased risk for the following disorders:

  • High blood pressure
  • Myocardial infarction (Heart attack)
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Thrombosis
  • Stroke

The quality of life of the person affected by sleep apnea (and their partner) is impaired on a significant scale by:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Irritability
  • Disruptions to concentration
  • Headaches
  • Effects on the immune system
  • Impotence (erectile dysfunction)
  • Night sweating
  • Impaired daytime performance
  • Personality changes
  • Memory impairment
  • Depression
  • GER (gastro-esophageal reflux, heartburn)
  • Other complications

The marked daytime sleepiness increases the risk of accidents (of particular relevance to motorists, pilots, machine operators…), and a large proportion of the fatal accidents on motorways may be attributable to people falling asleep while driving.



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