The Snoring Has to Stop!

We all long for a quiet night's rest.  But, for some of us, the snoring just blasts our eardrums!

It’s loud and it’s irritating.  But, is it serious?

Patti from Pitman, N.J. e-mailed:

“My snoring wakes me up.  Could this be a warning of a problem?”

Sometimes, snoring can just be annoying to your bed partner and annoying to yourself.  But, sometimes, snoring can be the indication of a more serious problem like sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a common condition that leads to interrupted breathing for very short periods of time during sleep, usually the result of narrowed airways.  Untreated, it can lead to health problems including, high blood pressure, memory problems, weight gain, and headaches.

“It's associated with nighttime awaking or daytime sleepiness, so if that's something that is occurring where you snore at night, you awake and feel tired, you're sleepy during the day, you should talk to your doctor about perhaps having a sleep study done,” Dr. Helena Schotland said.

Doctors may recommend a device called a CPAP, which helps keep the airway open.

Darrell from Philadelphia asked:

“I have sleep apnea, but the device hurts my nose.”
"Just because you don't like your particular mask doesn't mean that you are stuck with it.  There are a huge number of masks.  Some are nasal masks that go over your nose.  Some are nose and mouth.  There are also little nasal pillows that are just little prongs that go over your nostril that are great for people with claustrophobia,” Dr. Schotland said.

Other treatments include:

Weight loss
Sleeping on your side instead of on your back
Upper airway surgery
Nighttime dental device, similar to a retainer, that pull the lower jaw forward

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