Do you have a snoring problem? Snoring is not just an annoyance, it can signal major health concerns. Sleep apnea, a serious medical condition characterized by pauses in breathing that obstruct airflow is closely associated with chronic snoring. So, how can you figure out if you snore?
Here are 5 tools that you can use to help you decide if you have a snoring problem.
1. Ask your bed partner about your snoring.
This might seem obvious, but sometimes the severity of a snoring problem can’t be established without a little help. Asking someone to listen out for snoring patterns will help you to identify when you are snoring, how severe your snoring problem is and if it seems to be impacting your sleep. Your bedmate is the perfect person to serve as your eyes and ears as you sleep.
Ask your bed partner to tell you if your snoring seems consistent or intermittent and how loud it is. Gasping or choking sounds are a definite red flag. Establishing snoring patterns will provide you with helpful information that can be shared with your physician. If your bedmate notices your snoring, this could be a sign that there’s a problem.
2. Watch for symptoms.
If you feel tired, even after a full night’s sleep, snoring might be to blame. Snoring can also cause problems like dry mouth, a sore throat, trouble concentrating, waking from gasping or choking sensations or daytime crankiness.
Any of these symptoms could be the sign of a serious health condition and should be addressed immediately. Share all of your symptoms with your physician, no matter how insignificant you think they might be.
3. Keep a sleep log or sleep diary.
Start a daily sleep diary that includes information like when you fell asleep, how long you slept and when and why you woke up. You can also include any daytime symptoms like excessive sleepiness or lack of concentration.
Being conscious of your sleep habits will help you to identify any inconsistencies.
4. Record yourself sleeping & snoring.
Utilize a voice activated recording device to record your nighttime activity. This will provide more useful information that you can share with your physician. Listen out for pauses or gasping sounds, as these can indicate obstructive sleep apnea.
If you own a smartphone or tablet, you’ll find a variety of apps that will let you record your sleep activity, some that are designed specifically to record snoring.
5. Visit a Physician or a Sleep Specialist.
The most effective way to find out if you snore is to speak to physician. A Board Certified Otolaryngologist (ENT Doctor) can help you to determine if you snore, and if your snoring is the symptom of a serious medical condition.
You might be asked to complete a sleep study. This will provide your physician with the in-depth information needed to decide how serious your snoring problem is and if it requires medical attention. Personalized, minimally invasive treatments for obstructive sleep apnea are now available and many cutting-edge treatments can reduce or even stop your snoring, permanently.
If you suspect that you have a snoring problem, make an appointment with one of our Board Certified sleep physicians in New York City. Do you already know that you snore? Find out if you are at risk for sleep apnea by taking our Berlin Quiz.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a major health concern and an untreated case can lead to issues such as heart disease, weight gain, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and even accidents. Snoring can lead to interrupted sleep and even conflict with loved-ones. Treatment is available and there is no need to suffer needlessly. Proper diagnosis is essential for finding a treatment that will work for you.