Everyone knows someone who snores loud enough to wake everyone else in the house. It may be your Dad, an elderly relative, or even your spouse, but no matter whom it is there is probably some good-natured teasing and joking going on regarding how noticeably they snore. Unfortunately, for many people snoring is not a laughing matter. It often indicates the presence of a serious sleep disorder that needs to be diagnosed and treated. While there are some people who snore that do not have an underlying sleep disorder there is no way to tell why you are snoring without some diagnostic discussions and testing from your doctor.
If You Snore, Talk to Your Doc
Most people who snore know they snore but few seek the advice of their doctor because they don’t realize how serious the sleep disorders associated with snoring can be. In order to determine the best approach to treating your snoring, you should speak with one of our certified sleep physicians.
More than Just Noisy
There are several sleep disorders that include snoring as a symptom. The most common one is OSA or obstructive sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 50% of people who snore loudly have OSA. People with sleep apnea have difficulty getting the sleep they need because their breathing is consistently interrupted over the course of the night. One of the main signs of sleep apnea is snoring and another is waking up tired even after sleeping all night. If you snore, wake up feeling like you haven’t slept, and experienced excessive daytime sleepiness, you may have sleep apnea. Because the short and long term consequences of untreated sleep apnea can be very serious, you should make an appointment to discuss these symptoms with your doctor.
Snoring May Be a Warning Sign
Since snoring is a symptom of several different sleep disorders, it should always be treated as a warning sign until a doctor says otherwise. Even snorers who do not have OSA, narcolepsy, or another underlying sleep disorder are at risk for very real health problems. Although the research is preliminary and not yet conclusive, there are some new studies that show people who snore may have a greater risk for developing a cardiovascular condition called carotid artery disease. In fact, some of the research shows that snoring may increase the risk of this particular disease more than other well-known cardiovascular risk factors like obesity and smoking.
What You Need to Do
The most important thing it to treat snoring as more than something that is annoying your spouse. Snoring can be an indicator of some very serious health problems and must be discussed, diagnosed, and treated the same as any other medical condition. If you snore, you need to talk to your doctor about any symptoms you have related to sleep. You can also take these preventative measures that can decrease the risk of snoring and the health problems associated with it.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit alcohol
- Quit smoking
- Talk to your doctor