Husbands and wives alike all over the country are all too familiar with the term “snoring” and what it means to have a spouse with the problem.  I think the wife of  snorer said it best, “you try sleeping next to a buzz saw every night”.

Snoring is defined as the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound, due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping.  Unfortunately, it is not just a nuisance it is a real medical problem in and of itself, and it could represent a more serious medical problem – obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Statistics on snoring are often all over the place, but at least 30% of adults and perhaps as many as 50% of people in some demographics snore.One survey of 5,713 Italian residents identified habitual snoring in 24% of men and 13.8% of women, rising to 60% of men and 40% of women aged 60 to 65 years; this suggests an increased susceptibility to snoring as age increases.

Not only is snoring common but it has a significant impact on the quality of life for both the snorer and the bed partner – loss of libido, daytime somnolence and irritability, decreased ability to focus on and complete tasks.  Furthermore, habitual snoring has been shown to be related to early onset atherosclerosis with increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

So what can be done about snoring?  First, one needs to see their physician to be evaluated.  The treatment of snoring is complex and requires accurate diagnosis.  This process often starts off with getting a sleep study or polysomnography (PSG).  This will give your doctor the ability to grade the severity of your sleep-disordered breathing.  Once this is done, your doctor can more accurately diagnose not only the severity but potentially why you are having the problem.

Another problem with people that snore is sometimes they refuse to admit their problem, and it can make it extremely tough on the spouse that has to listen to them all night long. There is a much better way to live.

It suffices to say, snoring is a real problem, but there are viable treatment options out there to help.  One should not hesitate to see a doctor that specializes in snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

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