If you’re a chronic snorer, you’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, roughly 90 million American adults snore regularly. Not only is snoring annoying for your sleep partner, but it can also be a sign of a more serious health issue such as sleep apnea.
Snoring happens if a person cannot breathe air out through his throat while asleep. It vibrates the tissue around them, producing that familiar snoring sound. People that drowse often have too many throat and nasal cells, which can vibrate. It’s also possible that your tongue’s position interferes with your breathing ability. If your sleep is disrupted by a constant high level of stress it will affect your sleep patterns.
In this article, we are going to learn more about lifestyle changes, remedies of snoring, and nonsurgical and surgical treatments to stop snoring.
Cause of snoring
Since people snore for many reasons, understanding the root cause of snoring is crucial. If you know why you snore then find an effective solution for you and your partner.
Snoring can occur as an infant if a young person is older than 60. As you grow older your throat will narrow and your throat muscles diminish.
Other factors that cause snoring include:
- Taking alcohol or sedatives can narrow the airway and cause snoring because they relax the throat muscles.
- Allergies and nasal congestion can cause inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages and throat, resulting in snoring.
- An obese or overweight person is more likely to snore since excess fat in the neck narrows the airway and puts pressure on it.
- Sleep position can affect the amount of snoring you experience since sleeping on your back might result in the tongue and soft palate collapsing into the back of the throat and blocking the airway.
More serious causes
Snoring can suggest sleep apnea a severe sleep disorder in which you have to interrupt breathing several times a day. Normal snoring is not harmful to your sleeping quality as much as sleep apnea, so if you’re experiencing extreme fatigue at work, it may be a sign of sleep apnea or other sleep disorders. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which you stop breathing now and then during your sleep.
Sleep Apnea or Obstructive Sleep Apnea if left untreated can have significant health consequences. It is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular problems. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can also cause daytime sleepiness and lack of concentration.
Lifestyle and remedies you can do to stop snoring naturally
- Change your sleeping position – Sleeping flat can cause your tongue and soft palate to collapse to the back of your throat and obstruct your airway. Sleep on your side instead. If snoring continues even if you sleep on your side, obstructive sleep apnea may be the cause of snoring.
- Lose weight – If you are overweight or obese, losing weight may help to reduce your risk of snoring.
- Avoid alcohol and sedatives – If you drink alcohol four to five hours before going to sleep can make snoring worse. Alcohol and sedatives relax the muscles in your throat, which can narrow your airway and cause you to snore.
- Treat allergies and nasal congestion – Allergies and nasal congestion can cause inflammation and swelling in your nasal passages and throat, which can obstruct your airway and lead to snoring.
- Use a humidifier – Dry air can irritate your airway and lead to snoring. A humidifier can help to add moisture to the air and alleviate this irritation.
- Exercise regularly – Regular exercise can help to strengthen the muscles in your throat and reduce the risk of snoring.
- Quit smoking – Smoking can cause inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages and smoking irritates the throat which can obstruct the airway and lead to snoring. By quitting smoking, it reduces the inflammation in the nasal passage and throat muscles which can reduce or stop snoring.
- Use a firmer pillow – A firmer pillow can help to keep your head and neck in a more upright position, which can help to reduce snoring.
- Get enough sleep – Ideally, adults should sleep seven hours per night. There is a difference in the recommended sleep hours for children based on their age. It is recommended that preschool-aged children get 10 to 13 hours of sleep a day. A child of school age should sleep from nine to twelve hours a day, and a teen should sleep from eight to ten hours a day.
- Try anti-snoring devices that address the cause of your snoring – Different anti-snoring devices are available that can treat snoring, from tongue-retaining devices to chin straps. These anti-snoring devices can help reduce snoring and help you fall asleep soundly and deeply.
Treatments to prevent snoring
Medical treatment is usually recommended for a more serious cause like when your snoring is caused by sleep apnea. To treat snoring, doctors would likely recommend lifestyle changes, and if that doesn’t work or if your situation gets worse, here are the nonsurgical and surgical treatments that are included:
- Medication – Decongestants and nasal corticosteroid sprays can help you relieve nasal congestion if you have a stuffy nose. Smoother airflow is enabled by these, which opens the airway. It may be possible to reduce snoring with them.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) – CPAP is considered to be the treatment for sleep apnea and snoring. Sleepers wear masks over their noses and mouths while they sleep. By keeping your airway open during sleep, a small bedside pump directs pressurized air to the mask. A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is usually used to treat Obstruction Sleep Apnea (OSA) and eliminate snoring. Although Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the most effective and reliable method of treating OSA, some people find it uncomfortable or find it difficult to adjust to its noise or feel
- Upper airway surgery – Through a variety of procedures, the upper airway can be opened and prevented from narrowing significantly during sleep. The medical treatment or surgery includes:
- The uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) procedure, for instance, involves general anesthesia and shrinking excess tissue from your throat – a type of face-lift for the throat.
- In another procedure called maxillomandibular advancement (MMA), the upper and lower jaws are moved forward, which helps open the airway.
- In radiofrequency tissue ablation, the soft palate, tongue, or nose is shrunk by a high-intensity radiofrequency signal.
- Hypoglossal nerve stimulation is a new surgical procedure that stimulates the nerve controlling the tongue’s forward movement so it doesn’t obstruct the airway.
Surgery results vary and it is difficult to predict how a patient responds to them.