Condition: Snoring

Snoring is a very common symptom affecting over 40% of adults. It is twice as common in men and the likelihood of snoring increases with age. Reassuringly in most cases it is not harmful to your health, although it may affect your or your partner’s quality of life. Up to 20% of people who snore however, may be suffering with a serious underlying condition called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

About Snoring

Loud snoring can impact an individual’s sleep cycles and that of any bed partners. Research shows that often patients' lifestyle choices, such as weight management, changing sleeping position, and cutting down on drinking, smoking, and sleeping medication (if applicable) can help limit occasional snoring. In more chronic cases there are medical treatments that can help reduce snoring.

However, persistent or loud snoring should not be ignored. A patient that snores regularly (over 3 nights a week) and/or loudly (especially if loud enough to be heard in an adjacent room) may have a serious underlying health condition called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). This is a serious health issue, and occurs when breathing repeatedly starts and stops while asleep. Untreated patients suffering from OSA increase their risk of developing serious health problems including strokes, heart failure, and hypertension. This risk rises in proportion to the severity of sleep apnoea, so measuring the severity can guide treatment decisions.


What are the causes of Snoring?

Common causes for snoring include:

  • Blocked nasal airways - this could be due to allergies, infections, or problems inside the nose, such as nasal polyps, deviated septum, and nasal passage blockages
  • Throat tissue issues - individuals with large tonsils or obstruction at the back of the .throat are more likely to snore
  • Lifestyle habits that have been shown to increase problems with snoring include high weight, smoking, and excessive drinking
  • Sleeping position (sleepers are more prone to snoring when lying on their back)
  • More serious sleep disorders (such as OSA)

Diagnostics for snoring

For patients or partners of patients concerned with their snoring, OneWelbeck offers a full specialist evaluation through our Sleep Studies. The OneWelbeck sleep disorder diagnostic pathway will include an at-home sleep study to analyse breathing and sleep behaviour which can decipher the problem.

Your appointment will comprise:

  • Diagnostic blood tests
  • Study with SUNRISE device which is an overnight sleep study to be taken in the comfort of your own home for 1 night
  • Your results are analysed within 48 hours, and your overnight sleep report together with other investigations are discussed at a detailed medical consultation with a respiratory sleep doctor. A full history and examination (preferably with an accompanying partner) will also be taken
  • Please note that further diagnostics may be required, such as a more detailed NOX T3 study within our Lung Health centre or an EEG within our Neurology centre

Following these tests, treatment with a device and/or other management strategies are discussed and arranged. This may involve referral to another specialty.

We see patients at all stages of their sleep journey, from initial self-referral with no prior medical tests through to GP referrals for specific conditions after diagnosis. We also see insured patients, but please make sure to check with your provider your treatment is covered.

Price for Sleep Diagnostics Pathway: £495

Alternatively, if you would prefer to receive just a consultation with one of our respiratory consultants we offer this for £250. This is also available to discuss prior test results or diagnoses.

For more information, please call us on 0203 653 2006, or email bookings.lunghealth@onewelbeck.com.


Treatments for snoring

Upon completing the OneWelbeck Sleep study there are a variety of treatments available for snoring. These will be advised by the sleep consultant based on the feedback from the diagnostics.

The gold standard treatment for sleep apnoea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This is a mask connected to a machine that will blow air through the nostrils and/or mouth throughout the night, keeping the airways open and the snoring at a minimum.

There is also the option for nasal and throat surgical sleep treatments for snoring. The patient will be notified if they have the option to undergo these once they have been assessed.  For some patients a mandibular advancement device or a positional approach are the best solutions.

Any additional medical issues that are identified in the sleep study tests will be internally referred to the appropriate sub-specialty.