Is snoring harmful?

By itself, snoring isn't considered harmful. However, if you snore you may also have a more serious condition called sleep apnoea. If you have sleep apnoea you repeatedly stop breathing at intervals throughout the night and then wake up. This needs to be treated as it causes extreme tiredness in the day and can lead to accidents (for more information see Related topics).
You should think about how much your snoring is affecting the other people who live with you. For many couples, and in some cases whole families, snoring can cause major sleep disturbance and lead to real problems. If you know you are a snorer you should talk to your GP about it.

Symptoms of snoring

Your partner or your family will be able to tell you if you snore while you sleep.

Causes of snoring

There are several factors that can make you more likely to snore. These can be divided into lifestyle factors and physical factors.

Physical factors

Certain physical characteristics make you more likely to snore, for example:

  • a receding lower law, which causes an overbite

  • a blocked nose, caused by congestion, catarrh, nasal polyps or damage to the nose

  • having a large uvula or enlarged tonsils

  • being male

 

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