Not only is this annoying to listen to, new studies show snoring may also be a risk for a stroke. “They are related and that’s an under recognized thing,” said Dr. Jose Colon, a sleep medicine physician with Lee Health.
Snoring is a key symptom of sleep apnea. “If they’re tired in the day or if their weight is elevated, these are all signs and symptoms of sleep apnea,” said Dr. Colon.
Sleep apnea is now being linked to strokes. “Obstructive sleep apnea can be a stroke risk factor. To the point that new guidelines say anyone who has had a stroke they should have a sleep study to make sure they don’t have sleep apnea,” said Dr. Colon.
Sleep apnea happens when we stop breathing in our sleep. The low oxygen causes stress to our heart and an increase in blood pressure all of which can hurt your brain.
“One of the other things that’s very important is chronic snoring causes vibratory trauma to your carotid arteries, which can further lead to stroke so it’s important to get snoring treated,” said Dr. Colon.
If a person has sleep apnea it’s important to treat it to help reduce the risk for a stroke. “Many of the strokes that occur, occur in the middle of the night, just like many heart attacks occur in the middle of the night and that could be from untreated sleep apnea,” said Dr. Colon.
If a patient has already had a stroke, untreated sleep apnea can cause further damage to the already injured brain. “When someone’s had a stroke they have damaged blood vessels and tissues. If you have sleep apnea your oxygen is low. When you treat a sleep apnea you’re able to fix the oxygen issues and that’s good for the damaged brain,” said Dr. Colon.
Treating sleep apnea will not only help the patient sleep better at night and feel better during the day; it will also lower their risk for having a stroke.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.