Our understanding of sleep disorders has increased considerably in recent years with new information from the studies conducted in numerous "sleep laboratories" at various medical centers. We recognize that sleep apnea is a serious, sometimes fatal, disorder and know much more about the features that distinguish one type from another and about the anatomic-neuromuscular correlates of specific varieties of obstructive sleep apnea.
By contrast, snoring continues to be viewed generally as a humorous physiologic by-product of normal sleep. Like a wart on the end of a pretty girl's nose or an untimely belch, snoring is usually regarded as an undesirable affliction that must be tolerated along with the occasional goodnatured kidding directed toward the snorer and the light-hearted sympathy tendered to the spouse.
Snoring and sleep apnea both deserve our attention for one compelling reason—they are seen as serious problems by patients. In an era when every medical problem must
BYRON J. BAILEY. Problematic Snoring and Sleep ApneaThe Place for Surgery. Arch Otolaryngol. 1984;110(8):491–492. doi:10.1001/archotol.1984.00800340003001