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Is Snoring Always a Cause for Concern?

Is Snoring Always a Cause for Concern?

If you’ve ever slept in close proximity to someone who snores, you might have felt frustrated. Snoring can be very loud, and it can leave you wondering if something is medically amiss. 

Snoring happens when air doesn’t flow freely through your nose or mouth as you sleep. The tissues in your airways vibrate as air rushes through, causing the roaring or snorting sounds that accompany snoring.

If you snore, it's normal to have questions about your respiratory health. But it’s also important to realize that snoring is often normal and not always indicative of some underlying condition. 

Pulmonologists Ashkan Naraghi, MD, and Dan Naim, MD, specialize in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, a condition that sometimes causes snoring, at The Beverly Hills Lung and Sleep Institute in Beverly Hills, California. With a detailed evaluation, you can find out if your snoring is due to sleep apnea or another factor.

Anyone can snore

While snoring is most common in men over 50, it doesn’t affect them exclusively. 

You or those around you might snore either every night or on occasion. Unless someone has told you that you snore, you might not be aware. Plenty of controllable lifestyle factors can contribute to harmless snoring, including:

Additionally, the unique configuration of your anatomy can cause you to snore. A deviated septum, a narrow airway, or chronic nasal congestion can cause snoring but are not necessarily significant threats to your health. 

Be informed about sleep apnea

Sleep apnea, which sometimes causes snoring, is a health issue you shouldn’t ignore. Obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea can all cause cardiovascular complications, like high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke, because they deprive you of vital oxygen at night. 

Snoring is just one of many possible symptoms of sleep apnea. Although many people associate snoring with sleep apnea, not everyone with sleep apnea sores. Instead, the condition’s main indications are pauses in breathing at night and gasping for air. 

When you struggle to breathe at night, your oxygen levels plummet, and your body releases stress hormones. Your blood pressure also remains elevated at night whereas most people’s blood pressure lowers by 10-20% as they slumber.

When to talk to our team

If snoring is your only symptom, you likely don’t need to be concerned about sleep apnea. However, you should be aware of other common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. 

If you share a sleeping space with another person, ask them about your nighttime breathing patterns. They can listen for paused breathing and gasping for air, or you can record yourself sleeping and play it back in the morning to detect these signs. 

Daytime symptoms of sleep apnea also can occur, including:

Be aware of other risks of sleep apnea, such as heavy alcohol consumption, weight challenges, smoking, and other chronic health conditions like heart failure and diabetes. 

If you’re concerned about your snoring, schedule a visit to The Beverly Hills Lung and Sleep Institute online or with a phone call today.

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