DEAR DOCTOR K: I'm a snorer. I read recently that treating snoring can affect blood pressure. Can you explain the connection?
DEAR READER: Severe snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you have OSA, then your breathing is blocked temporarily several (sometimes hundreds) of times per night. What happens is that muscles in your upper airway (the back of the throat) relax too much. Normally, these muscles hold your airway open, so that air moves in and out of your lungs without obstruction.