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According to Rebecca Robbins, a sleep instructor in the department of sleep medicine for Harvard Medical School and a sleep specialist, snoring is healthy; thus, people who snore have nothing to worry about their condition.

Sleep specialists report that snoring is more common than people think. They point out that everyone has scored at least once. Scoring can occur when an allergy or cold lead to nasal blockage. They can also snore after taking a drink before going to bed. Both of these instances relax the throats, tongue, and palate. As a result, they have to force air out of these tissues hence causing vibrations known as snoring.

Snoring is an issue in sleep apnea

Despite snoring being normal, it can also point out a more severe issue such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). People with OSA usually cease breathing for about ten seconds at a time as they sleep. A sign that one has OSA is that they stop breathing after a period of loud snoring.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) states 930 million cases of OSA worldwide. The numbers in the U.S alone go up to 25 million. AASM notes that the number could be higher as many cases of OSA are not reported.

Groups that are prone to OSA

Certain groups are more likely to develop OSA. One such group is males, carrying more fat in their upper bodies, especially their necks. Moreover, they generally have more belly fat thus make more effort breathing. Despite this, Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a clinical medicine professor at the Keck School of Medicine,  University of Southern California, and a sleep specialist report that OSA cases increase in menopausal women.

Age can also increase the likelihood of developing OSA. People at age 50 and above usually have weaker muscles. Therefore the muscles of the neck and palate also weaken. For this reason, they are more likely to snore and develop OSA. Luckily, the condition tends to be mild or moderate in older adults compared to young people who have severe cases. Doctors often recommend positional therapy for these mild cases meaning that the patients would have to lie on their sides rather than their backs when sleeping.