People are often surprised to hear that it's not just men who I treat for snoring. Unless, that is, they themselves are among the 25% of snorers who are female, or they happen to share a bed with one. So, given that it's so prevalent, why is it still so unheard of or even taboo?
Women can, and do, snore. Snoring can affect women of all ages, although there's an increased prevalence from the age of 60 onwards and it can be experienced throughout pregnancy.
The truth is that it can be an affliction much worse for women than men; rather than being purely physical, it can also affect women psychologically. Society seems to attach masculine connotations to the affliction which can lead to women finding it deeply embarrassing and unladylike if they snore too.
The problems can run deeper than a loss of sleep for them or their partner. The embarrassment it causes can be mild, but it can also be more serious and lead to a lowering of self-esteem, or the fracturing or fear of relationships.
One woman I treated at my clinic told me that she had been bullied for snoring while at school and University. It had affected her to such an extent that she had been too embarrassed to start any relationships. What was a minor, rectifiable physical issue had become a cause of great insecurity and unhappiness.
Such embarrassment typically precludes women from seeking treatment and help. This often ties in with the second myth that there is no way of fixing the problem. Options are available, and start with lifestyle measures such as weight loss and an adjustment of sleeping positions and conditions.
If these are unsuccessful, there are potential treatments available which range from over the counter products through to non-invasive surgical options, which can stop the problem altogether. Many women are surprised at how easy treatment can be, and the difference it makes to their lives can be drastic. Your first port of call should be to speak to a GP or a specialist ENT surgeon. There is no need to live with the condition or the associated embarrassment, and they will be able to help you find a solution.