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Noisy night breathing may mean serious health issues

Oh, snoring. Unfortunately, not many people consider this habit a good thing! The noisy breathing sounds, such as wheezes, whistles, or rattles, not only disrupt your bed partner, but also signal that your airway is blocked. While there are routine reasons, such as a cold or allergies that an airway may be temporarily clogged, chronic snoring may be a symptom of a potentially serious condition that’s associated with an increased risk for heart disease: obstructive sleep apnea. And in children, snoring can indicate large tonsils or other physical abnormalities that contribute to obstructed breathing.

What’s more, snoring, itself, may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Compared with non-snorers, snorers—even those without sleep apnea—are more likely to experience thickening or abnormalities in the carotid artery, (Vibrations from snoring may cause trauma and inflammation in the artery.) These changes in the artery can lead to atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries that is involved in several vascular diseases.

Snoring is also considered bad because it can disrupt your sleep and lead to many uncomfortable complications, including daytime sleepiness, concentration problems, and an increased likelihood of car accidents.

In short, chronic loud snoring isn’t just annoying—it can also be dangerous and deserves medical attention. Talk to your doctor if you snore or if your partner complains about your snoring. Once your doctor helps determine the cause of your snoring, you’ll be able to treat the problem, so you and your partner can finally sleep soundly!