BY SLEEP FOUNDATION
A-One Care Media Company
Whether snoring is dangerous depends on its type, severity, and frequency.
Light, infrequent snoring is normal and doesn’t require medical testing or treatment. Its main impact is on a bed partner or roommate who may be bothered by the occasional noise.
Primary snoring occurs more than three nights per week. Because of its frequency, it is more disruptive to bed partners; however, it is not usually seen as a health concern unless there are signs of sleep disruptions or sleep apnea, in which case diagnostic tests may be necessary.
OSA-associated snoring is more worrisome from a health perspective. If OSA goes without treatment, it can have major implications for a person’s sleep and overall health. Unchecked OSA is associated with dangerous daytime drowsiness, and serious health conditions including cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and depression.
When Should You See a Doctor About Snoring?
Many instances of snoring are benign, but it’s important to talk with a doctor if there are signs of potential sleep apnea:
Snoring that occurs three or more times per week
Very loud or bothersome snoring
Snoring with gasping, choking, or snorting sounds
Obesity or recent weight gain
Lack of focus or mental sharpness
Morning headaches and congestion
High blood pressure
Nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism)
Frequent nighttime urination (nocturia)
If you have noticed any of these signs, it’s important to address the issue with a doctor who can determine if additional testing or treatment is necessary.