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Snoring can become more than a minor annoyance during allergy season

One in four couples sleep in different rooms because of snoring issues.

As allergy season enters its waning stages in many parts of the country, sleeping partners of those who snore are breathing a deep sigh of relief.

Snoring is not usually medically serious if it only occurs periodically. Habitual snoring is more common among those who are overweight or older. These individuals often experience interrupted sleeping patterns that leave them groggy the next day. Habitual snoring can also have social effects, as snorers are generally afraid to sleep in public due to the perceived embarrassment that comes with snoring.

In addition, anyone is prone to at least sporadic snoring if their nasal passages are blocked.

"Nasal congestion, one of the major symptoms of allergic nasal disease, contributes significantly to the obstructed air flow that leads to snoring," Dr. Dennis Ledford told the Tampa Bay Tribune.

Snoring can be just as harmful to the affected party's bed partner and their relationship. According to Dr. Paul Fulmer of Houston's Snoring Center, 23 percent of couples sleep in separate rooms due to snoring issues. In most instances, men are the culprits – two-thirds of chronic snorers are men.

During allergy season, couples whose sleep patterns are impeded by snoring should take steps to diminish the presence of allergens in their bedrooms.

They should keep pets out the bedroom and off of the bed, as pet dander can get trapped in carpets and other bedding materials, irritating those with allergies. Hypoallergenic bedding and HEPA air purifiers can create a sleeping environment that is conducive to sleeping without the influence of allergens. Also, individuals who snore may benefit by avoiding drinking alcohol or taking sleeping pills before going to sleep. Usage of either can relax muscles in the throat and tongue, which can cause them to obstruct a person's airway.

If snoring continues or intensifies, professional medical advice should be sought.

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