Are you a Snorer? Read on …..

We think that 40% of the population are snorers.

Men are more likely to suffer than women, although we do think that women often under report it. Men seem to be more likely to go to their Drs and mention it than women!

Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft tissue in our airways, when we breathe in and out during our sleep.
Snoring can affect people of all ages, including children, although it is more common in people between the ages of 40 to 60.
In some snorers the problem originates in the nose and in others it originates in the mouth. It is often useful to try to identify where the problem is coming from, as this can change the treatment advice we will give.
Causes of snoring:
We know it is more likely to happen if you are overweight

and if you have a thick wide neck

 

Snoring could be a sign of nasal disease so a GP would examine the nose for signs of polyps or inflammation. They would also prescribe decongestant or a nasal spray.

 

If a GP examines the mouth and see’s really large tonsils and the snoring is severe they may refer them to a specialist to consider tonsillectomy to remove them.

 

If the teeth are overcrowded or there is a poor bite this could make things worse and they should see a dentist.

 

Snoring can be a sign of a medical condition like under active thyroid or sleep apnoea so if in doubt you should see your GP.
Healthcare professionals use grading systems to assess a person’s snoring. The higher the grade, the more severe the snoring is.

When to see your GP?

You should see a GP if your snoring is affecting aspects of your life, such as causing excessive tiredness and poor concentration or relationship problems with your partner.
Excessive daytime sleepiness is particularly important because it increases the risk of a road traffic accident. The Department of Transport estimates that one in five road traffic accidents are the result of excessive sleepiness. It can also cause accidents with the use of machinery and things such as cranes and forklift trucks.
Snoring can sometimes indicate a more serious related condition called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), where a person’s airways repeatedly become partially or totally blocked for about 10 seconds throughout the night. See your GP if you wake up gasping or choking during the night.
How is snoring treated?

Treatment can improve snoring in some cases, but a complete cure is not always possible.
Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, are usually recommended first.
There are also anti-snoring devices, such as mouth guards or nasal strips that may help prevent snoring.
If anti-snoring devices don’t help, then surgery may be an option. This often involves removing soft tissue that causes the snoring, or preventing the tissue from vibrating by causing it to tighten.
However, surgery for snoring is usually regarded as a last resort. It is important to be aware that surgery can often have a limited effect that doesn’t last longer than one or two years and can cause unpleasant side effects or complications.