Why Sleep Studies Are Necessary Before Treating Snoring

Mon, Oct 04, 2010

In a study published recently in the Journal of Laryngology & Otology, a cohort of 31 supposed ‘simple snorers’ underwent overnight polysomnograms (PSG) to determine the real nature of their condition.  

The sleep studies found that only two were actually ‘simple snorers’.

Of the remainder, two suffered from upper airway resistance syndrome, nine (29 per cent) suffered from mild obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), seven (22.6 per cent) suffered from moderate OSA, and 11 (35.5 per cent) suffered from severe OSA.

That means 93.5% of the patients who thought they were simply dealing with an embarrassing noise ... were actually dealing with a serious health issue.  

And that's not to say 'simple snoring' isn't bad enough anyway.  The reality is snoring is clear evidence of an impaired airflow anyway.  While there might not be any obstructions or breathing stoppages, the extra effort required to breathe still takes its toll on the sufferer.  There are no circumstances when that can be considered healthy.

It is virtually impossible to determine whether OSA exists without conducting a diagnostic sleep study (PSG), and given the serious consquences of OSA, the above-mentioned study clearly demonstrates why sleep studies must form part of the assessment and treatment pathway even for supposed ‘simple snoring’. 

Don't be tempted to 'skip' this step in your treatment pathway ... and be very wary of any treatment provider who tries to persuade you that a preliminary sleep study is not necessary.  

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