Snoring isn’t just a nuisance and an annoyance to your sleeping partner — it can truly be dangerous for your health in several ways. In my years of working with snoring patients, I’ve seen just how many consequences this very common problem can have.
Here are some of the most dangerous issues for snorers:
Fatigue and EDS (excessive daytime sleeping) can kick in for patients with snoring or patients with apnea. That’s because a lot of snorers actually wake themselves up from their own snoring, or if they do have apnea and they have a decrease of oxygen, deep sleep can be cut down because they keep getting woken up.
Snorers have an increased likelihood of motor vehicle accidents. Up to 74% of apnea patients have had an accident due to drowsiness, and we see that all the time. Many, many of our patients have had car accidents.
One of the scarier situations was a few weeks ago we had a patient who was a snoring individual, was not getting treated for her apnea, and at 70 mph on cruise control on a family vacation on a highway went off the road.
Luckily nothing happened to that family, but it was definitely enough to wake her up into getting some treatment. Hopefully people don’t wait that long to get the treatment that they need. It’s definitely a very important danger out there.
Also snorers are seven times more at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. This last finding is a scary finding from the National Sleep Foundation that the sleep deprivation caused from these people with snoring and apnea trouble is equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration of legally drunk, which puts somebody at a higher risk for a car crash.
We have people falling asleep at red lights. We hear that all the time. There’s definitely a snoring danger associated with driving.
You even hear strange stories in the news, like the woman accused of attacking her snoring husband. You hear about this kind of thing now and then. I’m surprised we don’t actually hear about it more frequently. It’s probably out there in the news. I know I’ve seen bantering going on in Facebook.
We’ve heard of people having issues when they’re traveling and in groups and in things like that, so there’s definitely some dangerous stories out there with unhappy spouses.
Fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness can cause an increase in work accidents.
A lot of the real disasters are actually attributed in part to over-fatigued workers and suspected sleep disorders. That’s definitely an underlying factor in a lot of these pretty big and even smaller work accidents.
Poor job performance is really common in a lot of our patients who suffer with snoring. Just yesterday we had a patient come in that has successfully been treated, but prior to treatment he spoke of falling asleep at board meetings. His boss would throw something at him to wake him up. Luckily he doesn’t have to do that anymore. Poor sleep due to snoring can definitely can alter job performance.
Of course there are often relationship problems. This goes without saying. A lot of patients are aware of those issues from traveling or just night-to-night sleeping. Many of the spouses that come into our office with their spouse, the patient, have actually slept in separate bedrooms. That’s definitely not uncommon. Maybe even a third of our patients are sleeping in separate bedrooms, so they definitely have issues with that. It’s quite common.
So you see, getting help for your snoring problem is going to have positive repercussions all across your life – from safer driving to better alertness at work and better relationships. Don’t feel that you have to continue to suffer with your snoring problem. Get a professional evaluation to find the best options for your personal situation.
Visit our site at www.TiredOfSnoring.com for additional free resources, or call our Naperville Sleep Office, Dental Sleep and TMD Center of Illinois, 1-800-SNORING (630 369-5508) to either make an appointment at our office or get a referral to a certified specialist in your area.
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