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Quick snoring self diagnosis

Important Note: This quick snore self diagnosis is just that - self diagnosis. If you're at all concerned with your or your partner's snoring, then we highly advise you to seek a professional diagnosis.

The quick snore self-diagnosis

The aim of this test is to give you an idea of why you snore so you can decide what to do to try and minimise the snore.

Do you snore only while on your back?

Good news - if you snore only while on your back then the chances are that your snoring problem is mild. There's a good chance that changes to your lifestyle may allow you to rid or reduce that snore.

Do you only snore with your mouth open?

Sleeping with your mouth open may cause the soft palate to vibrate as air passes by. This may be a minor problem which is solved by sleeping with your mouth closed (ok, easier said than done!). There is a chance though that there is a problem with some of the tissues in your throat.

Do you only snore with your mouth closed?

Snoring with your mouth closed is less common than open mouth snoring. There could be a problem with your tongue so it would be worthwhile consulting a specialist.

Do you snore no matter what?

We're sorry to say it but your snoring has the hallmarks of being a more severe problem. We suggest you make an appointment with your doctor or a specialised sleep clinic as you may need special treatment.

Otolaryngolo-what? Diagnose that snore!

Maybe you've been feeling excessively sleepy during the day. Maybe you often feel irritated and edgy. Maybe your partner's told you, "that snore's so bad - you need some help!"

If so then it's probably time to see a doctor and have your snore professionally diagnosed.

Who can diagnose my snoring?

Generally your first step should be to visit your GP - they'll ask you some questions and evaluate whether or not to refer you on to a specialist for a more thorough examination. If your GP decides that your symptons are due to snoring or sleep apneas then they'll refer you on to an Otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist), who may practice as part of a sleep clinic.

Otolaryngologists are surgeons that specialise in problems with one's ears, nose, throat, head and neck. They are able to diagnose various medical conditions such as voice disorders, head/neck tumours, sleep apneas and snoring (among other things.)

Physical examination

The specialist will perform a nasendoscopy, which is the examination of your nose and nasel passages using a small camera mounted in a tube. The doctor will check for any abnormalities with your nasal cavity, mouth, tongue and throat.

The results of this examination may lead the doctor to suggest solutions such as the use of nasal strips, special dental applicances, or perhaps surgery.

Alternatively, you may need further examination by means of sleep studies in an overnight clinic.

Sleep clinics

There's a good chance you'll end up visiting a sleep clinic if no obvious physical reason can be found for your snoring and/or sleep problems. Such clinics allow doctors to examine your sleep patterns and to record a variety of measurements (such as heart rate, REM, etc.,) by connecting special monitoring equipment to you then allowing you to sleep within the clinic.

Normally a session at a sleep clinic will be done overnight and you'll be able to perform a normal day's work once you leave the clinic the next morning.

Sleep clinics have the advantage whereby the specialists are able to observe you directly while you're snoring. This is especially useful if it's found that your snoring is combined with more serious problems such as obstructive sleep apnoea.

It's up to you

If you're at all worried about your snoring, or are concerned that snoring or sleep apnoea may be the reason why you're continually tired, then take the first step - make an appointment with your GP and get your problem diagnosed.

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Nice video - "How to stop snoring"

Here's a nice video outlining some simple steps we can take to stop snoring.

Depending on the cause of your problem, more drastic steps may be required, but the tips shown in this video provide a good starting point.

Video link: how to stop snoring

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Does it really matter that we snore?

If you live alone, or if your partner says that your snoring doesn't bother her then you could be forgiven for thinking that your snoring isn't really a problem at all. Maybe it's not a problem now, but it could soon develop into more of an issue.

Apart from the nuisance and lack of sleep you cause for those around you there could well be more serious health effects that affect you directly.

Some negative health effects of snoring

Loss of sleep

This is the most obvious problem and can affect both you and your partner. Though you can't control your snoring, the noise can be a nuisance that causes stress and may be the cause of arguments.

Loss of sleep often results in tired, grumpy behaviour the next day and can have more serious implications if it occurs night and night over a longer period of time.

Excessive daytime sleepiness and lack of productivity

Even if you don't wake up fully during the night, a strong snore may mean a reduced quality of sleep that results in excessive sleepiness the next day. If you're continually tired then chances are you'll struggle to be productive throughout the day.

Irritability and antisocial behaviour

Without a good night's sleep you'll be more impatient and irritated by bright lights, loud sounds, and perhaps even "pestering" conversation.

Decreased libido

Another side-effect of feeling continuously tired - chances are when you get to bed you're much more interested in dropping off to sleep than in night time adventures.

Psychological damage

A consistantly low quality of sleep can have severe effects upon a person's emotional wellbeing, with an increased chance of depression developing. The psychological damage is likely to be even more severe if snoring is combined with sleep apneas.

heart attack / stroke risk

An increasing body of research has shown there to be a link between snoring and sleep apnaeas, heart attacks, and strokes, especially where the snoring is of the loud variety.

What to do about it

In many cases snoring can be reduced or eliminated, and it may be as easy as just losing a bit of weight. There are many possible cures depending on the exact reasons for your snoring so a good first step would be to meet with a specialist at a sleep or snoring clinic.

If you're a consistant, loud snorer then it would be wise to seek help sooner than later to reduce the chances of having any serious health complications down the line.

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Why do we snore?

Snoring is a very common problem, affecting many people throughout the world. Of course different people snore for different reasons - some of which are out of our control, and some of which can be influenced by lifestyle changes.

Causes of snoring which are out of our control

  • genetics / inherited problems
  • being middle aged or elderly
  • being male (males have a higher tencency to snore)
  • allergies
  • asthma
  • having a cold or sinus infection
  • subtle physical deformations

Causes of snoring which may be within our control

  • being overweight (or even just out of shape)
  • regular smoking, or even just a history of smoking
  • consumption of alcohol
  • use of medications
  • sleeping posture

Browse the pages here at snoring.co.nz to find out more information about snoring, including such things as how to stop snoring, diagnose why you snore, snore ops, and much more.