Snoring in the UK
There are approximately 15 million snorers in Britain. That’s as many as one in four people who snore regularly, and although it is often overlooked, it’s important to understand exactly what causes snoring and what you can do to stop it.
What causes snoring?
If you have come across this webpage because you or your partner have been snoring, then you will be familiar with the unpleasant sound a person may make when they breathe in and out during sleep, also known as snoring. The noise occurs when the soft palate and tissue in the mouth, nose or throat start vibrating. This could project as a rattling noise or snorting sound of which the volume can vary.
Who does it commonly affect?
It can affect people of all ages, including children, although it’s most common in adults aged 40-60. It is also believed that roughly twice as many men than women snore. Still, it is essential to remember that it may not only affect the individual but may be a cause for concern to their partner or household member also.
So what may put you more at risk of snoring?
Some factors that could affect your risk of chronic snoring include obesity, alcohol consumption, sedatives and some types of antidepressants, smoking and allergic rhinitis where the inside of your nose becomes swollen and inflamed due to an allergic reaction.
Will it go on its own, or is it something that needs treatment?
Evidence proves that it may get worse over time if left untreated. What this means is the vibrations occurring during snoring can damage the blood vessels that supply muscles in the head and neck. This over a while can cause the muscles to weaken. If your head and neck muscles are weakened, your ability to keep your airways open may get slimmer, which could mean you snore more frequently and loudly.
Could snoring be a sign of something more serious?
The answer is yes. Unfortunately, it can be a symptom of sleep disordered breathing called Sleep Apnoea, which can be hard to identify without a recommended Sleep Test. Undiagnosed Sleep Apnoea can carry serious health risks too. Hence, it is always better to test for Sleep Apnoea if you commonly snore, so you can be sure you are diagnosed correctly, without putting your health on the line.