Hello Esiotrot and WELCOME!!
I am glad that you took the trouble to post again, and your message is certainly written from the heart.
I hope that although I'm a bit (lot!) older than you, you'll let me try to reply to the points you made.
I too have been a snorer for very many years, and I still have dreadful memories of sleeping in a dormitory at school because I was bullied unmercifully about my snoring. This affected me later in life on holidays or when I took school trips away and had to share a room with a colleague, or when travelling for my pleasure with family and friends either on an overnight ferry or on a longhaul flight.
My husband had always known me as a snorer so he somehow managed to fight his way into sleep despite my noctural performances! But I became very inhibited about doing things if they involved sleeping anywhere but in my own bed. (My house, my rules, my snoring!!!)
You sound to be in good physical health, with the exception of not being a 'nose breather'. Not everyone is, and so whilst you might be in this category, there's no law that says everyone MUST breathe through their nose!! I too had my tonsils and adenoids removed when I was 10 to 'help' me breath through my nose, and my parents were constantly 'on at me' to make sure that I learned to breathe through my nose rather than my mouth. I think I manage to do about 80% of the time ....
You mentioned that you have suffered panic attacks and that you are divorced. Panic attacks are unfortunately all too normal in life. They are not your fault, they are simply the body's automatic reflex to stress by producing a sudden rush of adrenaline - not the buzz of the roller coaster, but the 'fight or flight' reflex to make you react ... and quickly. They are horrible whilst they are happening, but will not do you any permanent damage whatsoever. They are not a heart attack nor a precursor to one. Once the adrenaline level returns to normal, everything goes back to its usual state. (I found 'Panic Attacks' by Christine Ingram, published by Thorsens INVALUABLE for helping me get through them.)
And if you have gone through a divorce, you have experienced a major lifestyle change, and a really rough period of wild emotions and feelings, which are probably still being worked through. I hope that you will believe me that your snoring will have not been the cause of your divorce. It might have made things worse between your ex and yourself - sleep deprivation is a known form of torture!! -, but it would not have been the dominant reason why you split up. Please do not add inappropriate feelings of guilt to what is already a really unpleasant cocktail of emotions. And above all, remember that when you are snoring, you are asleep and therefore genuinely do not know that you are snoring. And you can't 'make' yourself snore, well, at least not genuinely. Snort maybe, but snore, no!
There are many reasons for snoring, and NONE of them are silly. And your GP will have met patients with snoring problems before so please don't feel humiliated. It is not a problem that you can solve yourself ... so don't start sewing tennis balls into the back of your nightie or pyjamas just yet!
Snoring occurs because the soft palate at the back of your throat is vibrating because of the pressure of air bouncing on it as you breathe when you are asleep. Sometimes it's because of your sleeping position, sometimes because the airway is too narrow for the air to pass successfully because the muscles at the back of the throat have relaxed reducing the size of the airway - obstructive
sleep apnoea (OSA) - or because your tongue is lying awkwardly reducing the space for air to flow, or because you've got a problem in or with your nose which either prevents or substantially reduces air entry by the nose, or even sometimes because there is just too much tissue on the soft palate.
There are solutions, some of which may be more complicated than others and some of which may last for longer than others. You cannot really 'cure' snoring but you can MANAGE it which means that you can stop it from happening, either by having an operation to reduce excess tissue or by using a piece of external equipment like a mouth guard or a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP).
So the first step is not to feel guilty. You are not responsible for the fact that you snore. Second step, you are going to take steps to investigate why you snore, which means initially getting information. You could read up on various things like the equipment offered by this association - mouthguards, nasal strips, sprays etc and do what's called the Epworth Sleep Questionnaire to see if you are experiencing daytime sleepiness and how much. So far, this is both painless and private. Courage!!
Now you really should go to see your GP. If you need to, write down what's worrying you and what you want to ask him or her, and what you want him or her to do for you. That way you won't have to worry about forgetting something important once you get to see him or her, and if your voice wobbles or you start to cry, you can give him or her the bit of paper. Your GP will NOT find it amusing. Snoring is a serious problem and should be treated as such. Please do try to go to see your GP; the GP will ask questions, look at your nose, throat and ears, and probably take your blood pressure. That shouldn't be too hard. But I know it is much easier for me to say than for you to do. If he doesn't know what to do, and he may ask you to come back and see him again in a bit to find out if things are still the same, he may refer you to an ENT (ear nose and throat) surgeon or a sleep centre to find out a bit more about what's going on;
Please believe me that THERE IS HOPE. There is treatment, there is education of the patient and others who are too ignorant to understand that snoring is not a deliberate action or choice, and there are ways to manage it so it no longer is a problem. You are probably still suffering from your divorce and that will not colour your life anything but grey or black. With time, love and support this too should improve. Real friends will stick with you whatever happened in your marriage. Cultivate them as rare flowers, and remember that we all make mistakes, learn from them (hopefully so we don't repeat history!!) and move on.
Don't you dare say ......................
I just wanted to find out if there is any hope. I have heard that snoring is incurable - if so I guess I just have to resign myself to the fact I won't go away with friends or have a relationship again. I've never spoken to a GP as it seems too humiliating, and it feels like a waste of NHS resources on something that's not life threatening, but it does make life really pointless as well.
Is there any hope or should I just accept it?
............... because of course
there is hope. And there is certainty that if you can go to your GP you will NOT be wasting NHS resources because if you do have a condition such as OSA you will be a much greater risk to NHS resources if you then have a stroke or heart attack which could have been prevented if you had been on appropriate treatment (such as the CPAP!). I promise that whilst I understand that you might feel that it's humiliating, it's actually HUMAN. Humans snore, but that doesn't make us monsters.
Snorers who seek help can live full and happy lives with good refreshing sleep and in turn help those who are in the same position as they were later on. There is ALWAYS hope and you should never accept what is manageable. Please start to learn about yourself and your snoring and move forward towards a happier time.
Kindest regards, and please post as often as you feel you need to. There is no such thing as a silly or trivial question. xx