DR. DONALD JOHNSON: Snoring — It’s irritating

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It’s 1 a.m. and you’re still awake! Why? You’re in a hotel on vacation and should be having fun but it sounds like someone is revving a chainsaw about 10-15 times a minute at 80 decibels.

It’s 2 a.m. and you’re still awake! Why? You’re in a tent on a school campout and someone in the next tent sounds like they are revving a motorcycle about 10-15 times a minute — every 6 seconds — at 85 decibels.

It’s 3 a.m. and you’re still awake! Why? You’re at home but someone in the house is snoring so loud that the walls are shaking!

It’s 4 a.m. and you’re still awake! Why? You’re on a cruise and the other person in your cabin is sawing logs at 75 decibels.

About 50 million Americans snore so probably some of you reading this article can relate. You’re either the snorer or the one irritated by the snorer. And many of you can add your own night after night individual scenario. I recently read an ecard that said, “I love you so much, except when you snore, I just want to punch you in the face!” One night my wife and I were at a motel in Glacier Park, Montana and the guest in the next room snored so loudly that my wife decided to go sleep in our car in the parking lot. That was too dangerous, so we just got up and left in the middle of the night and went home! So much for that vacation.

And of course the lack of sleep — not for the one snoring, but for everyone within earshot — leads to irritability, daytime drowsiness, inability to concentrate, and interference with response time behind the wheel. There is absolutely no way to spoil a vacation better or faster that with cranky, overtired kids and/or adults. Or an untimely car accident due to drowsy driving.

This snoring problem can be easily avoided by getting the snorer treatment. And this is the best way because snoring is usually a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea which has been linked to many major problems. Some of these are excessive daytime tiredness, memory impairment, moodiness, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, hormone problems, erectile dysfunction, workplace accidents, risk of auto accident, cancer, and even death. Treatment for snoring involves either CPAP — the MASK! — or a custom oral appliance fabricated by a trained dentist. Of course the oral appliance is the preferred treatment since you don’t have to find an electrical outlet for the machine or deal with the filthy biofilm on the inside of that long tube. You just insert the oral appliance in your mouth and the snoring can be stopped. And don’t try any of those Internet hoaxes; they don’t work.

Snorers — this is what the world thinks of when you keep them awake! Their calm, loving attitude becomes a fit of rage. They try the “pillow ear wrap” but it doesn’t work. 5-10 minutes go by and no letup. Now it is 30 minutes and all they can think of is how to get the lawn mower to turn off without offending you while all the while you are offending them.

It’s just about vacation time and you could have the snoring gone before that vacation or cruise starts. And it is easy with oral appliance therapy since there is no electricity required. Don’t the people around you deserve their sleep? And if you don’t get your problem treated, remember that the life of a non-snoring person can be one of nearly hysterical behavior due to their lack of sleep. No wonder snoring is a leading cause of divorce.

• • •

Dr. Donald Johnson founded Northwest Treatment Center for Snoring & Sleep Apnea in Coeur d’Alene to help patients stop their snoring and live free with no limits! Obstructive sleep apnea is usually able to be treated with a small oral appliance. Dr. Johnson’s office is at 114 W. Neider Ave., near Costco. The website for more information is www.NWSleepDoc.com and the office phone is (208) 667-4551. Schedule a free consultation appointment today!

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