Seeking Professional Help for Snoring

Seeing Your GP

Before you can have surgery you will need to either be referred by your GP or visit a private hospital or clinic, so that you can be assessed properly and diagnosed correctly. When you make an appointment with your GP, make sure you also adequately describe the reason for your visit so that they can set aside the amount of time needed to you to fully explain the situation, and for them to examine the problem. It is advised, that if possible, you take along your sleeping partner, so that your doctor can hear both sides to the story, and assess the type of snoring noise you are making. If you sleep on your own, then you can attempt some of the snoring tests described earlier, to try and find out what type of snoring condition you suffer from before you are interviewed by your GP.

Private Sleep Clinics

Another option to solve you snoring problem is to visit a sleep centre or clinic which are located throughout the UK. These often provide both NHS and private treatment for snoring. Cost at a private snoring clinic depends completely upon the type of treatment needed, and will be discussed with you prior to this, and result in a quote being offered before you begin the treatment process. An initial telephone diagnosis is often free, after which time consultation at the clinic will be charged.

Self-Assess Before you go

It is important to first attempt to discover the site of your problem yourself before you contact your GP. For example if you are overweight, and your believe your snoring problem is caused by excess tissue inside your airway, you must be prepared to try and lose weight, visit to the doctor otherwise might result in them telling you to start by doing this anyway. Many specialist and private clinics will not treat a patient who snores, unless they themselves have tried to lose weight beforehand, because more often than not the snoring habit will be caused by this and nothing else. The same advise is given to those that drink alcohol and smoke, unfortunately a specialist or sleep clinic will refuse to refer or treat a patient whose habit causes their snoring, which can be treated at home.

What to Expect from an ENT Doctor

Once referred to a ENT surgeon or respiratory physician you can expect to be thoroughly examined and question on your snoring problem. The physician will measure you weight and height to give you an accurate BMI (Body Mass Index), as well as extensively examining your airways, and from there advise you whether or not you might need to consider weight loss. Some physicians will carry out a ‘sleep study’ overnight to diagnose the cause of your snoring problem. This will mean the measurement of the oxygen level in your blood, breathing rate and the rate of your pulse over the course of your sleep. Often this procedure can be done with a portable machine which will take the necessary readings at home in your own bed, but may also be carried out in a hospital.

Deciding on Surgery

After this sleep study has been conducted and your weight, alcohol or smoking habits have been factored into your snoring problem without blame, the doctor may decided to operate to solve the snoring habit. You must be prepared to ask the doctor questions about the surgery, the implications and side-effects of which can often be unhealthy. Be ready to question the validity of such an operation, considering that snoring surgery has a chance of causing greater problems than it solves, and may only solve the problem in the short term, only for the snoring to resurrect itself after treatment. Your surgeon should outline all the risks and as well as advantages of surgery.

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