Could snoring be a sign of something more serious?
Loud, chronic snoring can often be a strong indicator that you might be suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, although sometimes, it can be nothing more than snoring!
Snoring is one of the most common symptoms of those with untreated obstructive sleep apnoea. OSA is a respiratory sleeping condition that affects around 4% of men and 2% of middle aged women in the UK. It is believed that up to 80% of people with sleep apnoea have not yet confirmed their diagnosis by taking a sleep study. This might be due to people mistaking snoring as a more common and non-threatening condition, rather than being aware that it is also one of the most common symptoms of a potentially life-threatening condition, if left untreated.
Snoring is one of the most recognisable symptoms of OSA, as well as choking or gasping during your sleep, or experiencing excessive daytime tiredness. If you or your partner suffer from one or more of these symptoms, it is advised that you take a sleep study to confirm your OSA diagnosis.
To distinguish the difference between normal snoring and sleep apnoea, you must analyse the impact that the snoring has on your everyday lifestyle and whether you suffer from any further typical OSA symptoms. These include excessive daytime tiredness, choking or gasping for air during your sleep, or having poor concentration and irritability throughout the day. Snoring generally does not interfere with the quality of your sleep, but it can be an indication of sleep apnoea if you suffer from some of the other typical OSA symptoms listed above.
If you snore, it is important to observe your sleeping pattern and diagnose the reason for your snoring. Approximately 45 per cent of the population snore and at least 25 per cent of them are sufferers of sleep apnoea. Should you believe that there is a possibility that you or your sleeping partner be at risk of OSA, it is very advisable that you take a Sleep Study.
Sleep studies can either be done through the NHS, at an overnight sleep clinic, or by ordering a private at-home sleep study to be taken overnight in the comfort of your own home.