Diagnosing Your Snoring
Diagnosing snoring has two purposes. Find out if you are snoring, and maybe more importantly; why you are snoring. Please note that many doctors often are inaccurate when diagnosing snoring since they are not specialized in sleep disorders. The following procedure is based on interviews with acknowledged sleep disorder specialists.
How do I know if I Snore?
If you have a partner that complains about you snoring, this is not a problem.
But if you live alone, it can be slightly harder. A method you can try is to use some sort of recording device, and record the sound of your sleep. For instance, you can use a Dictaphone or a computer running some kind of sound recording software.
The hitch about this method is that you have to listen through the recording afterwards. And you might listen through it all and find that you didn’t snore, but still have a snoring problem. However, if you at any point can hear yourself on the recording snoring, then you know that you’re snoring.
A better approach might be to check if you have certain characteristics of a typical snorer. We will go through all of these very soon in the test below.
It is very important that you go through the whole test and write down all the results. You will need these when you are looking for the best solution to stop your snoring. You will need a pen, something to write on and a measuring tape.
Please note that for some points in the test you will probably need to ask your doctor for assistance. You will get more information about this later. You may skip those steps for now if you wish.
The Big Snoring Diagnostics Test
Who suffers most because of the snoring? Is it you or your partner? If the answer is your partner, then you most likely suffer from simple snoring.
How much does your snoring affect your life and relationships? If snoring doesn’t affect your life and relationships much, then you are either suffering from a mild form of snoring, or you might not be aware how serious your snoring is. It is important to spend a few minutes reflecting over this question, since most snorers have rarely done so.
How long has your snoring been a problem?
Snoring might origin from something that happened a while ago. Maybe you started snoring after you started smoking? Maybe you started to notice your snoring sometime when you started to drink more frequently? Or started on a new medication? Try to note down any changes in your life when you started to notice your snoring.
Have you gained any weight lately?
Obesity and snoring has been proven to be strongly linked. Gaining weight increases both the likelihood of snoring, as well as increasing the loudness of the snoring sound. If snoring hasn’t been a problem until recently, and you have just gained weight, it is very likely that you now just found the source of your problem.
Has your collar size increased lately? Increased collar size often amplifies the snoring, just like obesity. Use a measuring tape and measure your collar size. If it’s above 17 inches (about 43 cm), it is very likely that you will have to lose weight.
How much alcohol do you drink?
Do you drink a lot? How does it affect your snoring? Alcohol increases snoring, since it makes your throat muscles relax, making the airway narrower.
Do you use sleeping pills or any other sedatives? If the answer is yes, it effects your snoring in the same way as alcohol. This DOES NOT mean that you should stop using these drugs. You should consult with your doctor and ask him if you can replace any of them. DO NOT attempt to figure this out yourself.
Have you ever had any nasal problems? Trauma, congestion, anosmia associated with nasal polyps, all of which are problems from where your snoring might originate. This is especially true if you snore with your mouth shut.
Do you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea?
OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea, is very common among snorers, and also a very serious condition. Do you feel tired after sleeping? Have you ever awakened chocking or grasping for air? Do you have excessive daytime sleepiness? Nocturia? Morning headaches? Poor concentration? OSA will be covered in great detail later.