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No Snoring in This Lecture

April 01, 1993|ANNE KLARNER

Bra-ca-ca-ca-ca-ack! Snort, snort, slurp.

The snorer sleeps on, unaware that small children and animals have fled in terror and the neighbors are asking who, in heaven's name, is running a buzz saw at this hour of the night?

Maybe it's time to go listen to neurologist David A. Thompson speak Wednesday night on snoring and sleep apnea at Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

"Almost everybody has the potential to snore, and all of us can snore given the right situation," said Thompson, medical director of the sleep disorders center at the hospital.

Things that induce snoring include sleeping with a nose plugged by a cold, excessive fatigue, alcohol consumption at night or the use of sleeping pills.

But when the snoring is disruptive and none of the above applies, it could be sleep apnea, which can be life threatening.

"The snoring is very loud, it is very irregular, and as the snoring increases, the individual will eventually stop breathing," said Thompson, adding that the individual usually resumes breathing between 10 and 30 seconds later. "People who have bad sleep apnea have a lot of sleepiness and they don't know why they're sleepy. (It's because) they're sleeping very poorly."

This may be of some comfort to those kept awake by their mate's noise.

*

When sleep apnea is left untreated, Thompson said, there is an increased incidence of high blood pressure and strokes. And that's not even considering the dangers of trying to drive or perform other tasks while extremely sleepy.

Thompson's talk starts at 7 p.m. at the medical center, 1509 Wilson Terrace. He usually speaks for about 45 minutes, then allows 30 minutes for questions and answers.

Admission is free, but seating is limited, so reservations are suggested. (818) 409-8100.

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