Snoring is the snorting and rattling sound made by the vibration of the airway tissue at the back of the mouth, nose and throat during sleep as we breathe in and out. It occurs because of a partial blockage in the airways due to the relaxation of the muscles holding them open. Snoring is very common with as many 40% of adults being affected. It is twice as common in men, as in women and is known to increase with age.
Snoring can cause sleep disturbance for both the snorer and those around them leading to symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness, reduced mental function, emotional upset and relationship issues. If severe it can also be an early warning sign for obstructive sleep apnoea, whereby people intermittently struggle or stop breathing during the night. Receiving help for such sleep related breathing disorders is essential as they are linked to an increased risk of traffic accidents and cardiovascular disease.