Snoring is very common. Perhaps 40% of adult men and 24% of adult women are habitual snorers–they snore several nights a week. But only a very small number of people seek treatment for their snoring.
Why aren’t people getting snoring treatment? Usually, they’re making excuses. If your spouse–or you–is using these excuses to avoid getting treatment, it’s time to stop now.
My Spouse or Roommates Aren’t Complaining
People think that if their snoring isn’t bothering other people, it must not be a problem. However, there are many reasons why someone might not be complaining about loud snoring. One reason is that they may be being polite. Another reason is that they may be heavy sleepers. Or maybe they’re using noise canceling devices or earplugs to avoid hearing your snoring.
Just because others aren’t complaining about the sound of your snoring doesn’t mean that it’s not a problem. After all, there are more problems with snoring than just the sound.
Snoring Is a Nuisance — It’s Not Serious
People who think that the sound of snoring is the main concern often say that snoring is just a nuisance. But snoring is more than a sound that makes it hard for people to sleep, it’s related to serious health problems.
Snoring means that your body isn’t getting enough oxygen at night. Your restricted airway may even close sometimes, stopping your breathing altogether, what is known as sleep apnea. Snoring itself can be related to a risk of coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, car accidents, and other health problems. And when you combine it with sleep apnea, the risks are even greater.
But My Snoring Isn’t a Problem
Do you think that other people might have snoring problems, but not you? This common excuse claims that you’re not suffering the symptoms of snoring-related problems, so you don’t need to get treatment.
But do you really know all the symptoms of sleep apnea and other snoring problems? Here are a few to consider:
- Bad morning breath
- Dry mouth
- Needing an alarm clock to wake up
- Waking up feeling unrested
- Daytime sleepiness
- Sexual dysfunction or low desire
- Depression or mood swings
- Disinterest in work or hobbies
- Tendency to daydream or lose focus
- Reliance on caffeine, especially in the afternoon
- Weight gain
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
The truth is that virtually any system in your body can be impacted by sleep apnea, and often most of them are. If you can pick more than a few items off this list, then it’s likely you have sleep apnea.
Of course, you (or your doctor) have likely prepared another excuse.
I Have X, Not Sleep Apnea
In our modern age of diagnosis by Google, people come to all kinds of conclusions about what their condition is. Add to that all the advertisements that are pushing you toward the latest popular profitable medical craze, and it’s easy to imagine your problem is something other than what it actually is. Snoring may seem boring, but it’s a common affliction that affects far more people than whatever trendy dysfunction that’s being sold these days.
But maybe you’ve done your due diligence and gone to your doctor. And you’ve gotten a diagnosis. That solves it, right?
Not necessarily. A doctor’s opinion is more reliable than your own, but it’s by no means certain. In fact, sleep apnea is commonly misdiagnosed as problems like depression, low testosterone, and other conditions that they are more used to diagnosing and treating.
In fact, the driver responsible for the deadly Bronx commuter rail accident had been diagnosed as having low testosterone and hypothyroidism. Don’t let a misdiagnosis put you and others at risk. If your treatments don’t seem to be working–or they’re not working well enough–it’s time to talk to someone about your snoring.
Snoring Treatments Don’t Work
So maybe you’re prepared to admit that you’re a snorer, and that snoring is a problem. But why try to do anything about it when snoring treatments don’t work, anyway?
This may be a cynical distrust of medicine, or it may be based on information you’ve read or reports from others. But it’s frankly not true. At the Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness, we’ve helped many people to overcome their snoring problems and sleep peacefully and quietly.
But I Tried a Snoring Treatment, and It Didn’t Work
Many people think that trying one snoring treatment gives them an excuse to dismiss all snoring treatments. But snoring treatments are all different, and they’re only really effective if they’re properly administered by a trained sleep expert, such as a sleep dentist.
Over-the-counter snoring treatments are an especially poor test. These cheap treatments rarely make a difference, partly because they’re terribly designed and partly because snoring treatments are hard to fit properly.
Another poor test for snoring treatment is snoring surgery. While this can be effective, it’s usually not. Initially, most people see a reduction in snoring, but the results wane over time, and usually snoring returns in time.
But don’t give up just because your over-the-counter treatment or surgery doesn’t work.
Treatment Is Uncomfortable and Inconvenient
You might have been told that snoring or sleep apnea treatment requires CPAP, which can be uncomfortable and convenient. But the truth is that many people can get great results from oral appliance therapy, which is both comfortable and convenient. For most snorers, an oral appliance is actually the best treatment option.
Treatment Is Too Expensive
What keeps sham snoring treatments in business is that so many people are looking for a cheap way to treat snoring. They are afraid that a prescription snoring treatment will cost too much.
The truth is that getting one effective treatment is a lot less expensive than trying all the cheap treatments you can find. And effective snoring treatment can actually save you money because it can reduce the cost of other medical treatments. Especially if you have sleep apnea, you can save thousands of dollars a year on other medical expenses. And for people with sleep apnea, insurance can cover a significant portion of costs.