For 1 in 4 of us, snoring is a normal part of everyday life. However, severe snoring can have a detrimental effect on our health if left untreated.
How Severe is My Snoring?
The NHS advises that there are three ‘grades’ of snoring:
Grade one – infrequent, fairly quiet snoring. It’s unlikely that this type of snoring will be affecting your breathing, so there should be no health concerns.
Grade two – snoring at least three nights per week. If you snore regularly, you may experience some difficulty breathing, which could be affecting your health.
If you are experiencing mild snoring levels, there are a number of products that work to combat snoring. There are also some lifestyle changes you can make to alleviate snoring, such as losing weight, sleeping on your side, or avoiding spicy food. You can find out more in our article that explores ten things you didn’t know about snoring.
Grade three – loud snoring every night. If the sound of your snoring can be heard in another room, you may have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Sufferers of obstructive sleep apnoea find that their airways become partially or fully blocked during sleep, preventing oxygen from reaching the brain and causing the body to wake or remain in only light sleep. Loud snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea can lead to feeling extremely tired the next day, and have a serious effect on your day to day life.
When Should I Visit My GP Because of Snoring?
One of the main symptoms of severe snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea is a feeling of excessive tiredness. Excessive tiredness caused by snoring and sleep apnoea can affect your ability to drive, work, and concentrate. It can also cause symptoms of irritability, headaches, anxiety, depression, and a lack of interest in sex. Left untreated, these symptoms can worsen over time, so see your GP if you’re experiencing any of the above, or are concerned.
Snoring not only affects your health, but it can also cause serious relationship issues between you and your partner, as they may struggle to sleep through the sound of snoring. If this is the case, visit your GP for advice.
Snoring can affect people of all ages but, if your baby or child snores, take them to see your GP, as it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.