Has someone ever told you that you snore? You might be aware of it, but what you don’t know is how bad it’s affecting others around you. And, more importantly, it can indicate a serious medical condition.
So, what can you do about it? Using a snoring device can do wonders and keep those ZZZ’s in check, so you don’t disturb others’ sleep, as well as your own. Certain lifestyle changes can help, too.
But first things first. Visit your doctor, so you know it’s nothing serious. And learn about your condition and proceed from there.
What Causes Snoring?
The Mayo Clinic describes snoring as the hoarse or harsh sound you make when you sleep. It happens when air passes relaxed tissues in the throat, which then vibrates, causing an unflattering sound.
There are several reasons why you snore. Some of these are:
- You normally have a narrow airway.
- The piece of tissue that hangs from your uvula is naturally elongated.
- You suffer from nasal congestion.
- You drink alcohol before sleeping, which causes your throat muscles to relax.
- You don’t get enough sleep, which also relaxes the throat muscles.
- You are overweight and have extra fat tissues in the throat that narrows the airways.
- You sleep in certain positions that narrow the airway, such as lying on your back that puts pressure on your chest and airways, narrowing them.
Unfortunately, snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea, a sleep disorder where periods of breathing pauses are experienced. When this happens, you need further evaluation by your doctor so that he can suggest the proper treatment.
How Can You Stop Snoring?
When your doctor has assessed your snoring problem, management will depend on the severity of your condition.
If snoring does not indicate a serious disorder, lifestyle modification is what’s recommended. This will include:
- Not drinking alcohol before bedtime
- Getting enough sleep
- Weight loss
- Not sleeping on positions that narrows the airways
However, if snoring indicates obstructive sleep apnoea, specific treatment options are provided, and you can choose the best one suited for you.
- Using oral devices that help open up your airway. Oral devices or appliances work to improve the position of the tongue, soft palate and even the jaw so they don’t obstruct the air passages.
- Another option is continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP, a device with a mask that you need to wear during sleep. The mask is connected to a small machine that pumps pressurized air into your airway. This helps keep it open and stops snoring. Unfortunately, it can take a while to adjust to the machine, and it can be uncomfortable while sleeping.
- Surgery can also be done to eliminate snoring and the dangers that come with it. These surgical procedures aim to open the airway and stop it from narrowing. One of these is the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), where extra tissues from the back of the throat are removed, thereby increasing the air passages.
Snoring can be annoying and embarrassing. But it can even be more worrisome if it signifies a dangerous health condition.
Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it. A snoring device, mouthguards and other mechanisms can help stop you from making noises while you sleep. But the first step you need to do is to consult your doctor.
And when you have the options laid out before you, choosing the best way to deal with snoring is easier. Then, you can sleep soundly knowing you’re healthy as can be and aren’t disturbing anyone.