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Snoring may be the punchline to a lot of gags and stories, but in truth it’s no laughing matter. Snoring is often a clue to poor sleep and possibly serious health issues, and can create major problems in intimate relationships.

If you snore or someone you love snores, you should see a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders.

Everyone snores from time to time. If you have a cold or allergic congestion, have consumed alcohol, or are just sleeping in a certain position (usually on your back), you might snore occasionally. But chronic, deep snoring should never be ignored.

Snoring happens when air passes over relaxed tissues in the nose and throat, causing them to vibrate. Alcohol can be a contributing factor because it relaxes muscles. Obstructed airways also contribute to snoring as the breath is forced through narrowed breathing passages. Narrowed air passages mean greater air pressure as you breathe in and out, which tends to make snoring louder. Obstructions might be caused by the physical structures of your mouth and throat, by a deviated nasal septum, or by lifestyle factors including obesity and smoking that can lead to narrowed air passages.

Not everyone who snores has the more serious condition of sleep apnea, but snoring accompanied by chronic fatigue, gasping while asleep, irritability, and a general feeling of restless sleep can be a significant warning sign.

The problem for some people is that they either don’t know they snore, or don’t believe a partner who says they snore. Snoring can be embarrassing, but if it’s disrupting your sleep and your relationships, it’s important to have a doctor assess whether you have a more serious problem or are at risk of developing sleep apnea, or if the snoring alone is such a problem that is should be treated.

If you snore, contact Dr. Rotenberg today to set up a consultation!