In the past, if a chronic snoring sufferers went through sleep and physical evaluations that determined they did not suffer from sleep apnea, it was often thought that there might be no physically adverse effects from the snoring — just a nuisance to sleeping partners.
But that rosy outlook has been tempered by the study and designation of chronic snoring as a metabolic syndrome, or a set of isolated risk factors potentially leading to further health issues.
Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of abnormalities that include high blood pressure (130/85 mmHg or higher), increased fasting glucose level (100 mg/dl or higher), increased triglycerides (150 mg/dl or higher), decreased HDL levels (less than 40 mg/dl for men, less than 50 mg/dl for women) and increased abdominal obesity (a waist circumference greater than 40 inches for men and greater than 35 inches for women).
Obviously, to determine if you have metabolic syndrome as a result of snoring, you’ll need to undergo some blood panel work as well as a physical evaluation by a professional. If it’s determined that you have three of the above-listed outcomes from snoring, then your metabolic syndrome is putting you at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and even stroke.
So, even if you yourself consider your snoring “benign” and not a health risk, you may be fooling yourself. Even if it’s determined that you don’t suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you can still be at risk if you show the symptoms of the metabolic syndrome we’ve described. The symptoms listed may not be wholly caused by your snoring, but you can rest assured that snoring is playing a big part in your increased risk patterns.
Therefore, even if you convince yourself that “nah, I don’t have sleep apnea — I never stop breathing at night,” you still should seek a professional evaluation and get yourself treated for whatever factors are causing you to snore chronically.
And there’s no need to feel that what you’re experiencing is unique or rare. It’s estimated that 45 percent of men and 35 percent of women are chronic snorers.
Bottom line: Get checked up today and see what you can do about your snoring. Your health is literally at risk.