When the air passage through your mouth and nose is blocked, it drives the loose tissues in the throat to vibrate, which leads to a harsh snoring sound. Nearly everybody snores once in a while, and it is not something worth talking about and stressing over. Yet, at times it might be the symptom of genuine and chronic health issues, which can hamper your sleep quality. These symptoms may show various health problems, like:
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA):
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) happens when the muscles that help the soft tissues in your throat briefly relax. When these muscles relax, your air passage is restricted or shut, and breathing is immediately cut off.
An issue with your mouth, nose, or throat:
The constant vibration in your airway from snoring is a typical reason for sore throat. Snoring is firmly associated with mouth breathing, which can make your mouth dry and your throat scratchy when you awake.
Lack of sleep:
The constant sound created during snoring can disrupt sleep, ultimately prompting lack of sleep.
Lack of sleep caused by snoring can also prompt obesity. A sleeping disorder and obstructive sleep apnea are the most pervasive sleep disorders that lead to an extended risk for obesity.
What are the causes of snoring?
Heavy and regular snoring is usually the sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) caused due to various factors, which are discussed here-
Once you reach middle age or beyond that, your throat becomes slimmer, and the muscle tone in your throat declines. While you can’t make any significant difference with this change, your overall lifestyle shift with new sleeping schedules leads to the snoring problem.
Some mouth exercise, adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet, and losing weight can help tighten those loose tissues and reduce snoring.
Obstructed nasal airways:
Certain individuals snore only during some particular season or when they have sinus problems. Issues like a deviated septum or nasal polyps can obstruct your airways.
Stick-on nasal strips used for nasal blockage help in expanding the space of the nasal passage. This can make your breathing clear, ultimately reduce or even stop your snoring.
The nasal dilator has a solid glue strip applied on top of the nose across the nostrils. This decreases wind stream obstruction, making it simpler to inhale. You can also use the nasal inhaler for instant relief.
Fatty tissue and loose muscles are usually the cause of snoring. Even if you are not overweight, carrying excess fat around your neck or throat can be a reason which needs special attention to stop snoring.
Considering losing some weight can surely help reduce your snoring, if not completely stop it.
While boozing is not directly responsible for snoring, consuming alcohol just before bedtime can lead to snoring issues. Alcohol relieves throat muscles and reduces your natural defence against an obstructed airway making the irritating sound we call snoring.
Anti-snoring exercises, sleeping on your back, and using mouthpieces are a few suggestions if you are drinking just before bedtime, but instead, try a warm shower, meditation, and reading books as they are the best snoring solution and better sleep alternatives.
Sleeping on your front side can make you snore. And even the pillow, which is too big or soft.
Sleeping in a prone (lying with a down face) position might be all you want to do to let air flow effectively and reduce or even stop your snoring. Lifting the top of your bed by a couple of inches may help cure snoring by keeping your air passage open.
Good quality mattresses also give you a great deal for treating the snoring issues in a better way as they provide the comfort sleep that allows the airflow to move freely in the nasal passage.
Is snoring bad for your health?
As I said earlier- snoring once in a while due to some stress or change in the regular schedule is fine, but be careful because snoring can be a chronic disorder that can have some harmful effects on your health and day-to-day life.
Daily snoring patterns might be something beyond a troubling sound. Assuming that snoring is related to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you might be at risk of different problems, which may include-
- Daytime weakness
- Being sleepy at odd times
- Awaking abruptly from sleep or gasping unknowingly
- Awaking with a dry, sore throat or a headache
- Regular discontent or anger
- Trouble in concentrating
- Risk of high blood pressure, heart conditions, and stroke
- Behavioral risks like aggressiveness or learning issues in youngsters with OSA
Losing weight, avoiding alcohol before bedtime, and sleeping on a comfortable and high-quality mattress can help you with the treatment of snoring.
When to see a doctor?
Have a consultation with a doctor if:
- You have symptoms of OSA. (which are mentioned above)
- Snoring influences your bedtime.
- No effect of lifestyle change or home remedies are taken for snoring.
Snoring remedy through medical treatments
Sometimes it is essential to look for a doctor’s consultation to seek medical treatment if you want to address this issue: Here are some clinical treatments usually used to treat snoring and its different causes:
Chronic allergy treatment:
Allergies can reduce the airflow through your nose, which forces you to inhale through your mouth. This improves the probability that you’ll snore.
Consult with a specialist about what sort of medication might work on your condition. These medications are usually available in various forms like nasal inhalers or sprays, fluids, and pills.
Constant positive aviation route pressure (CPAP) machine:
The CPAP machine is the standard treatment for OSA. It expects you to wear a compressed air mask over your nose, mouth, or both when you relax. This can assist with keeping your air passage open. Various options are available for a variety of patients and as per their needs.
Oral devices are customized devices recommended by the dentist. These devices expand the upper airway during sleep, which reduces snoring.
They work by at least one of the accompanying mechanisms:
- Moving the lower jaw (mandible)
- Changing the place of the delicate sense of taste
- Withdrawing the tongue
Radiofrequency removal (RFA):
This technique uses low-power radio waves to reduce the tissue in your soft palate. RFA is used to treat various disorders, like chronic back, neck pain, and is one of the methods for snoring solutions.
UPPP is a technique used to eliminate the mass of tissue in your throat to extend the air route. This, for some time, permits air to travel through the throat all the more effectively when you inhale, decreasing snoring.
Snoring may be chronic, which can lead to some major health issues like dizziness, feeling of anger and frustration, obesity, and so on, but proper treatment at the initial stage can help you to get rid of it in the long run. Taking a step toward living a healthy life is one way to avoid snoring but always be open to the option of consulting your doctor to suggest the best treatment to get better faster.
Also, till you get the appointment from the doctor, ensure that you consider the remedies like losing those extra pounds, adopting a healthy lifestyle, avoiding alcohol consumption at least just before bedtime, and improving your sleeping posture are very handy ways to avoid worsening your condition.