Snoring is a common problem. 10% of children snore, and with advancing age approximately 60% of men, and 40% of women do too. However, snoring volumes can vary greatly and lie between 17dB (comparable to the low hum of a refrigerator) to over 90dB in rare cases (the volume of a jackhammer). This level of noise will stop the person next to the snorer from having a good night’s sleep, which can lead to relationship problems as sleep is so essential to overall well-being. It can even disturb people in neighbouring apartments, although the snorer is usually blissfully unaware of how loud they are being.
When snoring does not disturb the pattern of breathing nor the quality of sleep, it is called primary snoring. This is not harmful for the snorer. If a person snores very heavily, it may reduce oxygen intake and as a result, interfere with sleep. This is called obstructive snoring.
If the oxygen intake dips very low during normal sleep, or breathing is completely interrupted resulting in breath-holding, it is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS). OSAS may cause serious adverse health problems such as hypertension, cardiovascular disorders, daytime fatigue and a tendency to fall asleep resulting in an increased risk of accidents.
A multidisciplinary approach is necessary to diagnose a sleeping disorder. I provide consultation to diagnose and treat such conditions. The type of treatment required is unique to each patient. I will schedule customised therapy only after confirming diagnosis and performing a sleep endoscopy if required (to assess the airway dynamically). I often attend world-leading experts’ facilities in order to constantly keep up to date with the latest management and surgical techniques, and within this field I have visited Prof. R. Capasso and Prof. S. Liu at the world’s largest and most renowned clinic for sleep medicine, the Stanford Centre for Sleep Sciences and Medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine in California.