When Should You See a Doctor About Snoring?
Some cases of snoring are an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea, an underlying sleep disorder. Sleep apnea can have serious health consequences if it goes undiagnosed and untreated.
If you have any of these risk factors, it is important to talk with a doctor:
Snoring that resembles gasping, choking, or snorting
Notable daytime sleepiness or fatigue
Mood changes, slowed thinking, or reduced attention span
High blood pressure
Obesity or recent weight gain
Why Do We Snore and/or Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
During sleep, the space behind our tongue narrows, and the tissue around it becomes floppy and relaxed. When air gets forced through as we breathe in and out, the tissue flutters, making noise like a flag whipping in the wind.
Snoring happens when the airflow from breathing causes floppy tissue in the back of the throat to vibrate.
Obstructive sleep apnea happens when floppy muscles in the back of the throat relax to the point where the muscles nearly or completely closes off the airway. This disrupts sleep and can cause low oxygenation during sleep.