Sometimes two seemingly unrelated issues are connected in a medical study that eventually can lead to serious breakthroughs in diagnosis and treatment. The connection between snoring and hypertension is just one of those types of things.
Hypertension is simply a medical term for high blood pressure. The blood pressure is a measurement that shows how hard the heart is having to work to pump the blood throughout the body. Although this is linked with the heart rate (how many beats per minutes) it’s more complicated to measure.
Most American doctor’s offices will take your blood pressure every time you visit the doctor. This gives the doctor a sense of how your heart is working and alerts them to signs of other diseases the might go unnoticed otherwise. Left untreated, hypertension can put extra strain on your heart, possibly causing heart failure, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease or other serious health problems.
Hypertension can also sometimes linked with other serious diseases, including sleep breathing disorders connected with snoring. If you snore, then you may also need to talk to your doctor about having your blood pressure checked on a regular basis and also see about determining if the cause of your snoring is severe and should be treated.
Is Snoring a Sign of Hypertension?
People often think that snoring is a benign and silly problem that doesn’t really affect your health and only brings on jokes from the family. But really, snoring is a problem that should be taken seriously. It’s not a harmless habit but has actually be associated with much more dangerous, and even life-threatening, health problems.
Snoring is a sign that your body is having trouble breathing. When airways are limited or blocked in some way, the air has a more difficult time getting through, causing resistance and vibration. These vibrations make breathing noises that can vary from a slight sound to a massive rumbling that wakes the whole house and the neighbors. Breathing passages may be blocked for a number of reasons, including asthma, seasonal allergies, swollen glands,
Although snoring may not always be an indicator that your blood pressure is high, it is certainly worth checking out. People who snore typically do so because they are struggling to breathe appropriately during their sleep. When this happens, your body has more difficulty getting oxygen, strain is put on the heart, and blood pressure has a tendency to rise. In fact, the younger the person with the snoring problem is, the more likely they are to have high blood pressure.
Can Hypertension Cause Snoring?
High blood pressure is not known to be a cause of snoring, but the risk factors are often considered together. Checking your blood pressure is an important part of maintaining your health, especially if you snore.
Although going to your doctor is the best way to get your blood pressure checked, there are certainly ways that you can do it on your own. Many pharmacies offer free or low cost blood pressure check machines that allow you to get your blood pressure checked while in the store.
You can purchase a blood pressure machine at home that works efficiently and affordably, so that you can check your own blood pressure while you are at home and resting. These normally come with a blood pressure cuff that wraps around your upper arm, fills with air, and then gives the results on a digital readout screen.
Snoring, Hypertension, and Sleep Breathing Disorder
When snoring is associated with a condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), high blood pressure is even more likely to be present. People who have sleep apnea experience small pauses between breathing during their sleep. This can happen just a few times an hour or up to 30 times an hour. When the brain realizes that it is getting short on oxygen, the brain causes the body to awake with a start so that breathing resumes. When the happens, the body pumps up the amount of stress hormones into the bloodstream, causes alertness that interrupts sleep and creates elevated levels of blood pressure.
Loud snoring is one of the most common signs of sleep apnea, and hypertension is also deeply connected with this condition. Other signs include gasping or choking upon waking, morning headaches, daytime sleepiness, memory problems, mood changes,
People who snore and have hypertension are likely to be at a higher risk for sleep apnea, which can result in other related health problems that can be very dangerous. Risk factors and symptoms for sleep apnea include obesity, aging, alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation, and use of opioid pain medications.
The only way to determine if you have sleep apnea related to snoring and hypertension is to have a sleep study performed at a sleep lab. Your doctor will make suggestions based on his or her concerns about your condition. Some people who have high blood pressure related to sleep apnea need to be treated with special hypertension medication. However, if the cause of sleep apnea and snoring is eliminated, this may eventually relieve the hypertension and make medication for that no longer necessary.
How to Treat Snoring and Hypertension
Treatments for high blood pressure and snoring will be directly related to the causes and severity of these problems. If your snoring is mild, your doctor may suggest that you treat it with simple solutions such as nasal strips, mouth appliances, sleep position training, or other non-invasive treatment options. Losing weight is often a healthful, natural way to reduce blood pressure and minimize the amount of snoring that you do. For snoring and hypertension caused by sleep apnea, you may need to treat the underlying cause of allergies, asthma, or even have surgery to remove inflamed tonsils or repair a deviated septum.
Even if you don’t have high blood pressure related to your snoring at the moment, your partner or spouse might be stressed out by your snoring and their blood pressure may be on the rise! Snoring and hypertension are both serious conditions that should be handled appropriately under the care of a medical professional team. The good news is that treating these conditions can restore your sleep cycles, produce more energy, give your brain a boost, and restore your quality of life in a myriad of ways.
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