Snoring is annoying, but is it more than that? Find out what this expert says.

Q. I am very concerned about my wife’s inability to get a good night’s sleep. She is tired all through the day and looks dreadful. She is pale and has developed these dark circles under her eyes. We go to bed at a reasonable hour (10 p.m. or so) and we try and walk for an hour every day for exercise and fresh air, but that doesn’t seem to help much. We are in our early 70s and we both snore – rather loudly I’m afraid. (My wife is worse than I am, although she might dispute this.) I’m wondering if there is something I should be doing to help her. Is this more than a nuisance? Our grown children suggest it could actually be a medical issue.

Bob, Kingston, Ont.

A. Your children are absolutely right. This is not just a nuisance, it’s a medical issue, according to Dr. Charles Samuels, Medical Director of the Calgary-based Centre for Sleep and Human Performance. He says your concern is well founded and obviously well-intentioned, but he also wants to know how your wife feels.

“If she’s not concerned, why isn’t she? Why doesn’t she care?”  He thinks it may have something to do with age. “We’re dealing with generational differences here,” says Dr. Samuels. “Seventy-year-olds tended to grow up in families where everybody snored and nobody did anything about it. Now we know there are consequences associated with snoring that are medically-related and people are finally doing something about it.”

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