Social impact of snoring & sleep apnea

People often do not take the habit of snoring seriously and, most of the time, ignore it by treating it as a sign of tiredness. But, snoring is not a condition that should be ignored. Loud snoring accompanied by daytime fatigue can be a sign of sleep apnea. This is a serious sleep disorder that can affect anyone at any age, even children. Sleep apnea, if left untreated, has a major impact on personnel and the social life of a person.

sleep apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a sleeping disorder in which breathing is interrupted repeatedly during sleep. Sleep apnea is classified into obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea: A sleep disorder in which a person stops repeatedly breathing throughout the night. This is due to physical obstructions of the airway. This block usually lasts for around ten seconds. The person’s body often fights to resume breathing again and result in snorts, gasps, or choking sounds.

Central sleep apnea is a less common condition in which the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to your muscles to make you start breathing.

How sleep apnea and snoring affect your social life?

Sleep apnea can reduce a person’s quality of life. It can significantly affect the personal, professional, and social life. Let’s have a look at the impact of sleep apnea on personal and societal life.

Personal Consequences

Sleepiness: People with obstructive sleep apnea will experience excessive sleepiness during the daytime. This can significantly affect their work, studies, and daily life. The person might fall asleep while he/she is driving, reading, talking, or even when eating. People with sleep apnea often misunderstand this sleepiness with tiredness as they age.

Depression: Depression is an unnoticed problem in people with Obstructive sleep apnea. This condition is often left untreated, or the reason behind this depression lies unidentified. Thus, it is crucial to examine OSA in people with depression.

Social Consequences

Impact on family and friends: As we mentioned earlier, a person with OSA is at risk of developing depression. This makes it hard to maintain healthy relationships, and they are less likely to participate in social activities. Excess snoring can also play a villain as this loud and bothersome snoring can irritate the partner, and they might choose to live in separate rooms. People with OSA are less likely to perform physical exercises. OSA can also lead to impotence, thus increasing the chances of divorce.

Memory problems: People with OSA might experience memory problems. They may also experience difficulty in concentrating, slower reactions times, and amnesia of events. It also leads to Reduced Alertness, difficulty directing attention, and trouble focusing on tasks. Involuntary Microsleeps, often undetected, impact information gathering and processing. Limited short-term and working memory, prevents adaptation and strategic thought.

Judgment and Decision Making: Less able to recognize and respond to threats and estimate the difficulty of future tasks. More likely to misinterpret verbal and nonverbal cues, limiting interpersonal skills. Skewed evaluation of consequence and reward, resulting in risky behaviors and decisions. More Likely To Disregard The Moral Implications of actions taken by themselves and others.

Safety: People with OSA are more likely to have motor vehicle accidents as a result of sleepiness, which can be fatal and harmful to society as well.snoring

Since these sleep disturbances can affect a person’s life both physically and mentally, it shouldn’t be treated light heartily. However, the disease is curable by USA FDA approved Oral Appliances or CPAP or surgery and can be diagnosed by a Sleep Medicine Physician. Oral appliances are one of the best remedies for mild and moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliances place your lower jaw downward & forward, and your airway will open up more, and there will be less of a risk that it will vintage or obstruct. Diagnosing and treating sleep apnea can help you to prevent the long term health consequences

Blog Reviewed By:Dr. Krishnan A. Subramanian
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