snoring is no laughing matter

Snoring is no laughing matter…

The human body is the most well-oiled machine known in the universe.  There’s no other invention like it, and yet our bodies suffer from all sorts of ailments be it minute or life threatening.  Some forms of disease and disorder garner the sympathies of the public.

For example, a child suffering from the seasonal flu or the now-defunct chicken pox.

In other circumstances, certain medical conditions are the source of shame and embarrassment.  Sexually transmitted diseases for example are rarely discussed openly by the victims of these diseases.

The manner in which the problem was inherited, and on what part of the body does the ailment reside often determines the social implications of discussing the medical condition openly.

A Joke Or A Health Concern?

However, the social perception of snoring is quite different and unique.  In one sense snoring can be the source of tremendous feelings of embarrassment for the snorer.  Many individuals silently suffer from anxiety and dread falling asleep on an international flight, or cross-country train journey due to the fear that they will snore.

Women often feel an even greater level of stigma, because snoring is widely perceived to be a male health problem.  This misconception could not be further from the truth.  In another sense, snoring is a source of amusement.  As illustrated in this video, and countless other cartoons we live in a world where snoring is often perceived as a comical but benign medical condition.

Can anyone think of any other embarrassing medical problem that is so commonly portrayed in media as comical?  Or perhaps another medical condition that is both made light of in cartoons and yet people are ashamed to to admit to in real life?  Why is snoring a still-stigmatized symptom of a larger health problem the butt of so many jokes?

Many people fail to realize that snoring is a symptom of a much more serious problem known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  Want to know how serious this condition is?  YOU ACTUALLY STOP BREATHING IN YOUR SLEEP FOLKS!  Yep!  It’s true.

Now, not all cases of snoring are due to OSA yet it is much more common than you might think.

When an individual suffers from OSA there is usually a blockage in the airway that prevents the free flow of air in and out of the lungs.  Snoring is the sound caused by the air being forced down this narrow passageway.  Sounds a bit more serious now eh?

Changing Attitudes Is Crucial

It’s time that we started looking at the problem through a different perspective and educating the public about just how dangerous snoring is.  While T V and cartoons probably won’t stop using the exaggerated snoring character for comical relief any time soon, we can nonetheless spread public awareness about OSA.

When a society makes light of a health issue, it often detracts from the seriousness of the issue to the point where many people don’t think snoring is anything to be concerned about at all.