Snorers’ Partners at Risk for Hearing Loss

woman covering ears 2If your partner has told you your snoring is “deafening,” it may not be an exaggeration: this 2003 study showed a link between snoring and hearing loss for snorers’ bedfellows.

Researchers studied healthy individuals ages 35-55 who had no history of noise exposure (such as factory workers or army personnel). The bed partners of snorers consistently showed unilateral (only one ear) hearing loss. In each case, the issue was in the ear that faced the side of the snorer.

Snoring has been likened to “an airplane flying overhead” or “a bomb going off” – and according to the researchers, these comparisons may not be far off. Sounds above 80 decibels mean the risk of hearing loss, and snoring can actually reach 100 decibels, experts say.

If you snore, you’re not the only one you need to worry about. Make sure you’re taking care of your partner’s issues related to your snoring too.

  • Deal with the problem. Don’t put off help for your snoring. See your doctor and follow her advice on what to do about your snoring, including weight loss (if applicable), exercise and devices, such as a chin strap, mouth guard or CPAP machine, to the letter.
  • While you’re waiting for help with your snoring, you may wish to sleep separately. Not sleeping together has been linked to relationship problems – it’s an enforced lack of intimacy – so consider this a temporary measure. Take turns in the bed or set up a second, comfortable bed in a different room.
  • Invest in ear plugs for your partner while you’re waiting for information from your doctor or waiting on the delivery of your sleep device.
  • Make sure your partner knows you care and that you’re not disregarding his/her feelings. Knowing that you are working on the problem and taking your partner into consideration will go a long way toward helping to repair any damage your relationship may be suffering due to your snoring.

You’re not the bad guy for snoring, but your snoring IS affecting your partner. Be sure to take care of her while you’re working on taking care of yourself. The two of you are equally important…and both deserve relief from snoring issues. Until next time, take gentle care!