Females don’t snore, do they?

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Snoring makes you think of old men. Asleep in an armchair. Balancing glasses on the tip of their nose and a book on their exceptional belly. The sound is rolling thunder, rhythmical and disturbing.

But in truth, snoring is not the sole property of men, the old or the obese. In the 1970s and 1980s it was thought that snoring affected sixty men for every one woman, but more recent studies have shown the prevalence to be more around two men for every one woman.

snore motorcycle copyFemale snorers remain poorly understood as women are less likely than men to seek help for their snoring from a GP. Despite poor sleep, choking and difficulty breathing these women prefer to try over-the-counter remedies. It is supposed that these women feel embarrassed and ashamed of their snore and so try to solve their problem without the services of a medical doctor.

What we do know about female snorers:

  • The onset of snoring is usually later than men. Men begin snoring around 40 -45 years old, whilst women begin around 60-65 years old.
  • Snoring is linked to post-menopausal hormonal changes. The lower levels of progesterone and oestrogen make women more prone to snore as these hormones protect the upper airway muscles from relaxing and causing an obstruction.
  • They have abnormal head, face and neck respiratory anatomy. Their airways are more prone to obstruction because of these changes.
  • Snoring is less intense as the female airway is narrower and firmer than their male counterparts.

If your are a female snorer, you may benefit from getting a check-up from your GP to rule out other disorders such as hypothyroidism, diabetes and obesity. Additionally, if you are a post-menopausal female snorer you may benefit from hormone replacement therapy where progesterone and oestrogen are used to reduce snoring and sleep apneoa.

Check out another blog - Do fat people snore more?

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