Snoring And Apnoea Blog

The Fatal Snore

Posted on Sat, Mar 19, 2011

An article titled ‘The Fatal Snore’ by Kate Robertson of Fairfax Media discusses the case history of Marshall Caliph, nicknamed ‘Foghorn’ by his friends. Apnoea is dangerous

Marshall suffered from sleep apnoea, to the extent that he had crashed his car several times after falling asleep at the wheel.  He had even been known to fall asleep mid sentence.

This appears to be a severe case of sleep apnoea, but as Professor Rob Pierce (the physician who treated Marshall and who was interviewed for the article) says, “One-third of the population snores at some time, at least intermittently, and conventionally it’s been thought snoring is a bit of a joke. But now we know it is a potentially serious medical condition…and we have to treat it seriously because with the epidemic of obesity, it’s becoming more common.”

The article cites the Austin Hospital’s Institute of Breathing & Sleep, which says snoring affects 3 in 5 Australians — a massive 60% of the population.  This is twice the estimated level of prevalence found in previous research.

Some patients with ‘sleep disordered breathing’ conditions such as apnoea stop breathing up to 100-plus times an hour, for at least 10 seconds at a time.  According to Professor Pierce, “These people have incredibly fragmented sleep, which impacts on many aspects of their daytime.  Impaired work performance, mental dysfunction, depression, relationship problems and a greatly enhanced risk of car accidents are just some of the results.  It’s probably a major cost factor in industrial and transport accidents.”

Unfortunately, this list of problems is not exhaustive.  Other conditions clearly linked to sleep disordered breathing include hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, metabolic retardation and consequent obesity, acid reflux, loss of libido, impotence, AD/HD, and even type II diabetes.  In many cases, people suffering from these conditions are actually suffering from an underlying (and often undiagnosed and untreated) sleep disorder.

Once again, the point to note is that snoring is not just an embarrassing or irritating noise.  It is ALWAYS an indication that something is wrong and that a more serious condition exists or is developing.  If you snore, or know someone who does … do something about it.

And take heart!  Treatment for snoring and sleep apnoea is NOT limited to only the surgical or Constant Positive Airway Pressure solutions mentioned in the article.  The Academy of Sleep Medicine now endorses ‘oral appliance therapy’ as first line treatment.  This form of treatment involves the custom fitting of specialised dental devices which sit comfortably inside the mouth and hold the patient’s jaw and connected tissue clear of the airway while they sleep. 

Tags: snoring, apnoea, Snore

Snoring is SERIOUS!!

Posted on Mon, Oct 11, 2010

Dr Richard Fischer, DDS, is an internationally respected authority on oral medicine.  He is a past President of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology;  he has addressed the United States Congress as an expert witness, and has published numerous scientific papers on matters relating to oral medicine, temporo mandibular dysfunction (TMD) and cranial osteopathy.    He is listed in the 'Who's Who of Medicine and Health Care'.

This is what Dr Fischer has to say about snoring:

Snoring is bad for your health AND your relationship."Snoring is always indicative of the development or existence of a sleep breathing disorder.  During normal breathing our bodies produce a substance called nitric oxide, not to be confused with nitrous oxide or 'laughing gas'.

Nitric oxide behaves like an antioxidant because it protects the inner linings of our blood vessels from damage or placques -- i.e., the beginning of cardiovascular disease.  Recent research has shown that within seconds upon the start of snoring, the production of nitric oxide stops, leaving our cardiovascular system vulnerable to breakdown.  Snoring can also activate the sympathetic nervous system (or "fight or flight" mechanism) which in turn can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure).

Snoring may also be a major indicator of a more significant medical condition called “Obstructive Sleep Apnoea” (OSA).  OSA is, as defined by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, “a breathing disorder characterised by brief interruptions during sleep … repeated periods of no breathing for at least 10 seconds at a time.”

These periods are called apnoeic events and can last over minute.  It is not surprising then that people with OSA sometimes awaken gasping for breath.  Untreated, sleep apnea sufferers have up to a 500% increased risk of dying during their sleep from a heart attack or stroke.  They statistically average a reduced life expectancy of 8 years.

Sleep Disordered Breathing has been linked to:

Cardiovascular disease


Ischemic stroke


Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Memory Loss

Increased mortality”


Snoring might be common, but that doesn’t mean it’s normal.  And it certainly doesn’t mean it should be ignored.  Snoring really IS serious.

If you snore, or know someone who does, please call 1300 246 637 for more information ... or visit How Our Clinics Help.

Tags: snoring, consequences of snoring, impact of snoring, side effects of snoring, Snore

Snoring: A Loud Clear Signal

Posted on Thu, Sep 30, 2010

Snoring is common.  But it certainly isn’t normal, and it certainly isn’t good for you. 

Think about it:  if you saw someone awake and breathing like a snorer does, you’d think they were in need of medical attention.  Yet when we see a person breathing like that while they’re asleep, we think it’s just an embarassing or irritating noise. 

Snoring is common, but not normal.Crazy.  Any rational consideration of the matter must conclude that sleep is the WORST time to be breathing like that.

The simple fact is that snoring is a LOUD SIGNAL that your airflow is obviously impaired.  The noise of snoring is CAUSED by the air being dragged into the body against impeding tissue.  That means your body must work harder to breathe and/or your body gets less airflow (i.e., oxygen) than it properly needs.

There is now no doubt that snoring is itself a serious ‘sleep disordered breathing’ condition.  Thankfully it isn’t as nasty as sleep apnoea … but in most cases, a person who snores will soon enough become an apnoea sufferer.  Why wait until you’re ‘really sick’ before getting treatment?  It is always best to commence treatment as soon as possible — and thus minimise the impact of any condition, while reducing the likelihood of the condition worsening.

If you snore or know someone who does, seek treatment.  At the very least, arrange to have a polysomnogram (diagnostic sleep study) done to determine the true severity of the condition.  

Medicare and health insurance rebates cover many of the costs.

For more information, call your local Accredited Sleep Therapy Clinic on 1300 246 637.

Tags: snoring, snorer, stop snoring, Snore, anti snoring