Snoring may be sign of serious, life-threatening condition

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Snoring may not only keep your partner up at night - it can also be a sign of a serious, life-threatening condition.

Snoring usually happens when the airway is partially blocked due to nasal congestion, enlarged tonsils or alcohol. What can you do if you or your partner snores?

"Nasal strips don't always work. Instead try lifestyle strategies to help keep your airway open and help you stop snoring," said Diane Umansky, a health editor with Consumer Reports.

You can ease a stuffy nose by elevating your head and sleeping on your side. Avoid alcohol at least four hours before bed. Quit smoking - and yes, losing weight may help.

If all that doesn't work, see a doctor and get tested for sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea describes a condition where breathing stops and starts during sleep. It can raise the risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

An oral appliance can help keep airways open, or your doctor might prescribe a CPAP treatment, which helps move more air into your throat.

Also, don't underestimate the benefit of a good night's sleep. If all else fails, experts say surgery may be your only other option.

Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.
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