Forty Five percent of adults snore at least occasionally, and twenty five percent are habitual snorers. Problem snoring is more frequent in men or those who are overweight. Plus, snoring often worsens with age.
Causes Of Snoring
Snoring occurs when there is an impediment to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This obstruction causes turbulent air flow which produces vibrations of the soft tissue. Snoring is the sound generated from this vibration.
Factors that influence snoring, including:
The anatomy of your mouth. – A floppy soft palate or an elongated uvula can narrow your airway and hinder airflow. Enlarged tonsils or a large tongue base may also cause obstructions.
Nasal congestion. – Nasal congestion caused by allergies or a deviated septum can hinder breathing. Being overweight can contribute to snoring. The extra mass in the neck and throat can narrow the airway, making it harder to breathe clearly.
Alcohol consumption. – Alcohol before bedtime further relaxes muscles in the throat, making obstruction and snoring more likely.
Snoring your Health
Symptoms of Snoring
Snoring can cause awkwardness and disrupt the sleep of loved ones. It can place immense strain on relationships while driving spouses to sleep separately from their partner. But snoring is also a medical issue, disrupting sleep patterns and depriving the snorer of appropriate rest. Snoring is a red flag for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Snoring happens when your airway collapses onto itself. The back of your throat will then vibrate and cause the loud sound of snoring. In some cases, the airway closes up completely, and the sleeper stops breathing briefly and is then awakened. This pattern of breath-stoppage and sleep-interruption when chronic, is called Sleep Apnea.
Sleep apnea leads to decreased oxygen levels in the blood while the subject is asleep. Decreased blood oxygen levels have been linked to high blood pressure, and sometimes brain damage or heart failure. It is also believed to lead to Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
In addition to the noise, problematic snorers and their sleep partners may also experience:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Sore throat
- Restless sleep
- Relationship problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Gasping or choking during sleep
Is Snoring Life Threatening?
Even “simple snoring” should be evaluated and treated whenever possible. Snorning is a huge risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea.
Lifestyle Changes to help lower snoring:
Diet & Exercise. Obesity contributes to snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Proper diet and exercise are the backbones for a healthy lifestyle.
Sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your back can allow your tongue to press back against your throat and obstruct proper airflow. To encourage side sleeping, try sewing a tennis ball to the back of a pajama top. Or you can search for “bumper belts sleep apnea”. The tennis ball and the bumper belts are positional therapy option. Positional therapy works by changing the position of your body to counteract your airway’s tendency to collapse.
Treat nasal allergies and congestion. Nasal congestion can block airflow and cause snoring, so try to treat allergies before they become severe, or consider turbinate reduction.
Reduce sedatives and alcohol. Avoid alcoholic beverages and sleeping aids before going to bed. If you have trouble falling asleep, increased exercise and activity can help.
If these remedies fail to improve your sleep quality or snoring, you may have a sleep disorder breathing problem. Only a sleep test can determine if you have more than a snoring problem.
If you snore, you can start by implementing better health and lifestyle habits. If you are a chronic snorer, you should seek professional help immediately as you may have amore serious health problem. Don’t let snoring and poor sleep rob you of the health and vitality you deserve. Call our office today at 832-487-0647 or come by out office at 3421 Burke Rd #1 Pasadena Texas 77504.