Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What are the dangers associated with heavy snoring and sleep apnea?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat are the dangers associated with heavy snoring and sleep apnea?


I'm a 26 year old slightly overweight male. I have always been told that I snored, but in the last 6 months I have been told it seems to be worse than previously. Over the last year I have lost a significant amount of weight which I thought would counteract the snoring and potential sleep apnea, but instead it seems to have worsened. I am curious about any long term negative effects associated with heavy snoring.


There have been many studies conducted that have looked at the effects of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) on the adult population. When compared to matched individuals that do not suffer from OSA, patients are more likely to have increases in weight gain and high blood pressure. It has also been shown that OSA can lead to symptoms of daytime fatigue, as OSA interrupts the normal amount of deep sleep the body needs to recharge at night. As a result of this process, patients are at risk of falling asleep at random times during the day, including while driving. Fortunately, there are treatments that exist for OSA. You should talk with your primary care physician about your concerns. You can be referred for an outpatient sleep study, where you can sleep and have different values monitored, such as heart rate, breathing rate, pauses in breathing, brain activity, oxygen levels, and blood pressure. If you are diagnosed with OSA, you can be fitted with a breathing mask or nasal device which can deliver positive-pressure air at a continuous rate and help you overcome the difficulties caused by your sleep apnea.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.