Nov 22, 2009
When we used to live in a house many years ago, our carbon monoxide alarm would keep going off in the basement. We checked the alarm and all the various possible sources of carbon monoxide leakage, with no obvious leaks. On a routine maintenance call for our furnace, the technician found that whoever installed the unit did it improperly, and it wasn't vented properly. Needless to say, my wife and I were shocked.
Similarly, snoring is your internal alarm telling your spouse or bedpartner that there's a problem. Snoring means that there's partial or total obstruction with your breathing and that it could mean something much more dangerous lurking underneath that can literally kill you in your sleep. I commented in a previous blog how there's no such thing as "benign snoring." If you snore, you have a 35% chance of having obstructive sleep apnea, which increases your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke by 3-5 times. Even if you don't have official sleep apnea, you'll still have a higher chance of suffering from depression, insomnia, or getting into a car accident.
In this country, we routinely screen for dozens of medical conditions that have 1-2% incidence that are much less riskier than having untreated obstructive sleep apnea. With up to 24% of middle-aged men and well over 50% of seniors having this condition, it's a travesty that snoring is not taken too seriously by the medical community. The snorer's health is potentially at risk, but what about the snoree that has to suffer and lose hours of sleep due to his or her snoring bedpartner?
Do you suffer from sleep loss due to a snoring significant other? If you are the snorer, and haven't done anything about it, what are you waiting for?