Doctors Bag

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When should you see the doctor about your snoring?  Depends on who you trust and what you read.  While doing some updated research on the condition today, I came across an interesting statement – actually, quite a confusing statement.

Digging into a piece on snoring symptoms, I read some advice that, for a minute, made me think that only when your snoring wakes up someone else should you actually worry about the condition.

The statement comes from a trusted source but I think the intention was a little bit misleading.   Or it’s one of those days where I just read something wrong.  Let’s see what you think.

See this page of the Mayo Clinic website on snoring:    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/snoring/DS00297/DSECTION=symptoms

It describes the possible symptoms of snoring like an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and feeling drowsy during the day.  Then it tells you when to see the doctor, and I quote:

  • Your snoring is so loud it’s disrupting your partner’s sleep
  • You wake up choking or gasping

That’s it.  It doesn’t say to go to the doctor if you are snoring.  It doesn’t say to go to the doctor if you are snoring and feeling drowsy during the day.  Just go to the doctor if you wake up choking and gasping OR if you’re disturbing your partner’s sleep.

The choking and gasping I understand.  That could be a sign of sleep apnea which means you might actually stop breathing while you’re sleeping.  It’s the first statement that has me confused.

“Your snoring is so loud it’s disrupting your partner’s sleep.”

Does this mean that you only need to see the doctor because your spouse or significant other is affected?  Otherwise, just keep snoring away?  What about the irregular heartbeat, the risk of high blood pressure and the added drowsiness?

I’ve read this page a number of times in the past but never caught this before.  What if you sleep alone?  Then you don’t need to see the doctor because no one’s sleep is being effected?

This doesn’t make sense and I can’t believe that is what they meant.  Certainly, the Mayo Clinic is an authority on a significant number of medical conditions but this seems to be a case of someone having written a statement that is a little less clear than they intended.

The louder you snore, the more serious the condition can be and perhaps what the author meant was that if you snore loud enough to wake up someone next to you (even if you sleep alone) than you should have your condition checked by a doctor.

I’m not a doctor and I don’t give medical advice other than to suggest that you see your doctor if you are snoring just so you can get the facts and so you can have the cause diagnosed.  People snore for different reasons and it’s not something that can be diagnosed by reading an article.  If the doctor says “Yup, you snore but it’s just a general condition of your age or weight.”, at least you know.  At least then you can deal with the issue of general snoring and not a more serious health condition.  It’s just safe practice and not just because you might be waking up the person next to you in bed.