If you are a snorer, the chances are that your spouse or other bed partner is more than happy to tell you how intense your snoring is. And it turns out this is an important consideration because the louder you snore, the greater the likelihood that you have more severe sleep apnea.
Studying Snoring Volume and Sleep Apnea
In order to determine whether snoring volume was correlated with sleep apnea, researchers spent two years performing polysomnograms of patients and recording their snoring volume.
They enrolled a total of 1643 habitual snorers, and broke them up into the standard categories of sleep apnea based on their apnea-hypopnea index (AHI):
Mild: AHI 5 to 15
Moderate: AHI 15 to 30
Severe: AHI 30 to 50
Very severe: AHI more than 50
They found that snoring intensity increased with each category of sleep apnea. Those who actually were found to have no sleep apnea had the quietest snoring, at about 46 decibels, while those with very severe sleep apnea had the loudest, at about 60 decibels.
Overall, there was a strong positive correlation between snoring volume and the severity of sleep apnea. Snoring intensity was also associated with male gender, sleeping on the back, BMI, and neck circumference, all of which are associated with increased risk of sleep apnea as well.
Loud Snoring Is a Warning Sign
If you are a loud snorer, you should take this as an important warning sign that you may be suffering from sleep apnea. The more severe your sleep apnea, the greater your risk of conditions like heart disease, elevated blood pressure, stroke, and other complications.
Loud snoring is also associated with poor sleep for your partner, and some snorers regularly reach volumes that can result in hearing damage.
If you are a snorer and want to learn how you can be tested for sleep apnea and get effective treatment, please call 402-493-4175 for an appointment with a sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha.