Is heavy snoring dangerous?

Do you suffer from any of these signs or symptoms?

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea carries increased morbidity and mortality, and can also be a nuisance! Many of the signs and symptoms associated with “sleep disordered breathing” (SDB) may be attributed to other disorders or areas.

It is important to look at SDB as a syndrome – where a combination of signs and symptoms are associated with that disease process. It is not necessary to have several or all, but they may all be associated with SDB. If in doubt, ask your doctor.

Heavy snoring

Heavy snoring. This is especially important when it has been going on for more than a few years or if it’s loud and disruptive. Having gasping or stopping breathing with snoring is even more significant. In many parts of the world heavy snoring is considered to be normal, or worse still, a joke.

Yet physicians frequently don’t see it’s relevance – snoring alone is associated with an increase in stroke and heart attack incidence – it is NOT benign!

Even doctors may be unaware of the connection between heavy snoring and cardiovascular disease and options other than CPAP to fix them.

While it may present serious problems itself, it may also reflect underlying obstructive sleep apnea, hence I would recommend seeking a sleep test if you gasp or breath hold during sleep, or indeed if you have any of the other signs of OSA described here.

It is of course also very disruptive to the bed partner who often suffers sleep deprivation as a result, often believing that the snorer is enjoying good sleep while they suffer in silence.

Both suffer and the snorer is running the risk of at least a core throat, annoying their bed partner, risking the effects of hypoxia and the worsening of their condition as they damage the nerves in their throat.

At worst, they may be building reparative plaques inside damaged blood vessels and risking stroke. Either way this is neither benign, nor a joke.

Good sleep is crucial to good health and longevity.

Dr. Stephen Bray 2019

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