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Snoring may be funny, but it also can cause sleep deprivation and suggest serious health issues.
Providence physician Dr. Navin Amin explains why you should check out chronic snoring.
Ah, the bedroom! An oasis that beckons at the end of a long and exhausting day - a quiet and enveloping cocoon where one can drift into a peaceful and well-deserved sleep. But what starts out as the hope of restful slumber can quickly turn into a nightmare of exhaustion if loud snores keep you awake night after night.
Snoring can be a lot more than an irritant to bed partners and roommates. A quarter of the American population are habitual snorers, and the majority are men. Although women, too, can snore, they are typically affected more indirectly. A recent study at the Mayo Clinic found that women who share a bedroom with a loud snorer lose an average of an hour's sleep a night and can suffer from sleep deprivation and fatigue. Even switching bedrooms doesn't always help, because some snorers can be heard right through closed doors.
Snoring is often viewed as fodder for stand-up comics, but according to Dr. Navin Amin of Providence’s St. Joseph Hospital Nasal & Sinus Center, "Chronic snoring is no laughing matter. Not only can it affect the health of the snorer's partner, but it can also be an indicator of a more dangerous medical condition called sleep apnea."
In obstructive sleep apnea, the snorer actually stops breathing. This breathless state can last for up to two minutes, reducing the blood's oxygen content and causing fatigue. At worst, the condition can even lead to death.
Seven out of ten Americans snore to some degree, but a lot of people are not concerned about their snoring until their sleep-deprived mate says they’ve had enough. Fortunately, this often spurs the snorer to see a doctor and begin treatment. Sleep studies and new advances in treatment options for snoring can help.
While some snoring may be caused by seasonal allergies, some causes may be more severe. If someone is complaining about your snoring, instead of laughing about it, you might want to get it checked out.
Find a doctor
Visit our provider directory to find a primary care doctor or specialist to help you identify the cause of your snoring and potential treatments. Through Providence Express Care Virtual, you can also access a full range of healthcare services.
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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.
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