In the United States, snoring is thought to affect 57% of men and 40% of women. Even children as young as 27% can experience it.So,what causes snoring?
These figures show that snoring is common, but that its severity and health effects might vary. Light, infrequent, and unobtrusive snoring can be a sign of a serious underlying breathing issue that affects sleep.
Understanding the fundamentals of snoring, including its causes, danger signs, treatments, and coping mechanisms, can improve health and get rid of a typical source of sleep problems.
Why Do People Snore?
Tissues close to the airway at the back of the throat rattle and vibrate, which results in snoring. As we breathe in and out, the airflow causes the nasal tissue to flutter and produce a flapping noise, which narrows the airway as we sleep.
Due to the size and form of their neck’s muscles and tissues, some persons are more likely to snore. In addition, as the tissue relaxes, the airway restriction may cause snoring sound.Some possible causes that raise the possibility of snoring include:
#2 Drinking alcohol
#3 Use of sedative drugs
#4 Long-lasting nasal congestion
#5 Oversized tongue, tonsils, or soft palate
#6 Deviated Septum or nasal polyps
#7 A tiny or retracted jaw
#9 Even little youngsters can snore, older folks tend to do so more frequently. More commonly than women, guys snore.
What Distinguishes Sleep Apnea from Snoring?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a breathing disorder when the airway collapses or becomes blocked while you sleep, repeatedly stopping your breathing.
Even though snoring is one of the most prevalent signs of OSA, not everyone who snores has the condition. OSA-related snoring is frequently loud and has a choking, snorting, or gasping sound.
OSA interferes with sleep and frequently throws off the body’s equilibrium of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Primary snoring, a milder type of snoring that happens frequently, doesn’t cause these other problems.Take a sleep apnea test in the comfort of your own bedroom!
Is Snoring Risky?
Snoring’s kind, intensity, and frequency all have a role in whether it’s harmful.Light, infrequent snoring is common and doesn’t need to be tested for or treated medically. It primarily affects a bed companion or roommate who might be irritated by the infrequent sounds.
Over three evenings a week, there are more than three primary snorers. Due to its frequency, it disturbs bed mates more; nonetheless, unless there are evidence of sleep interruptions or sleep apnea, diagnostic tests may be required, it is typically not seen as a health risk.
Snoring that is connected to OSA is more dangerous for your health. OSA can have a significant impact on a person’s sleep and general health if it is left untreated. Untreated OSA is linked to major health disorders such cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and depression as well as risky daytime drowsiness.
When Should You Get Help for Snoring from a Doctor?
While many cases of snoring are harmless, it’s necessary to consult a doctor if there are any possible indicators of sleep apnea:
#1 Three or more times a week of snoring
#2 Snoring that is very loud or irritating
#3 Snoring accompanied by choking, gasping, or snorting noises
#4 Weight gain recently or obesity
#5 Fatigue during the day
#6 Lack of concentration or mental clarity
#7 Headaches and congestion in the morning
#8 Elevated blood pressure
#9 Gnashing one’s teeth at night (bruxism)
#10 Frequently urinating at night (nocturia)
It’s crucial to discuss the matter with a doctor if you’ve seen any of these symptoms so that they can decide whether further testing or treatment is required.
How Can I Tell if I Snore When I Sleep By Myself?
Most snorers aren’t aware of it unless someone else points it out, which contributes to the underdiagnosis of sleep apnea.
Your best option if you sleep alone is to set up a recording device. An old-fashioned tape recorder or one of the many smartphone apps might be used, but the apps have the advantage of analysing sound patterns to help you identify potential snoring episodes.
Since snoring might not happen every night, it’s recommended to record for several nights. Despite this, applications cannot help with OSA diagnosis.
If recording is not an option, keep an eye out for other signs of sleep disruption, such as weariness, daytime sleepiness, focus or concentration issues, or sudden mood swings.
What medical procedures can stop snoring?
The type of snoring and the issues it creates will determine the appropriate course of treatment.
Treatment may not be required if snoring is primary or rare unless it interferes with the sleep of the snorer or a roommate. Treatments are frequently less complicated and intrusive in those circumstances. Those who with sleep apnea typically require more extensive care.
Lifestyle modifications, snore-preventing mouthpieces, mouth exercises, continuous, auto, or bi-level positive airway pressure (CPAP, APAP, or BiPAP) devices, and surgery are examples of treatment types. The best person to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of any course of treatment for an individual is their doctor.
Benefits and drawbacks of any course of treatment for an individual is their doctor.
Altering one’s lifestyle can decrease snoring, and in certain circumstances, additional therapies may not be required. Lifestyle modifications are frequently advised even when other therapies are prescribed. These alterations include, as examples:
Maintaining a healthy weight is vital to preventing snoring because being overweight or obese is a serious risk factor for both sleep apnea and snoring.
Limiting alcohol and sedative use: Both alcohol and sedatives have been shown to increase the likelihood of snoring.
Changing your sleeping position: Your airway might become clogged more easily when you sleep on your back. While adjusting to a new position may take some time, it can be beneficial. To prevent you from switching back to sleeping on your back, some experts advise sewing a tennis ball into the back of a shirt. Specialty gadgets may also be helpful.
Raising the head of your bed: Using risers, a wedge cushion, or an adjustable bed frame to raise the top of your mattress may help you stop snoring. It’s important that the mattress is lifted up, instead of just adding more pillows for this to work.
Reducing nasal congestion: You can stop snoring by taking measures to get rid of allergies or other causes of nasal congestion. Internal nasal expanders and breathing strips that cover the nose may be able to assist you in opening your nasal passages at night.
Mouthpieces that Prevent Snoring
In order to prevent your tongue or jaw from obstructing your airway as you sleep, an anti-snoring mouthpiece helps maintain them in place. There are primarily two categories of mouthpieces for snoring.
Mandibular advancement tools: These hold the lower jaw forwards while functioning. Many are adjustable so you may find a better fit that is both comfortable and functional.
These mouthpieces, known as tongue-retaining devices, assist in keeping the tongue in position and prevent it from sliding back towards your throat.
The gold standard treatment for sleep apnea is still CPAP. But while some people can wear a CPAP without discomfort, others find the device uncomfortable, especially if the machine is noisy or the mask doesn’t fit well.
For OSA patients who cannot tolerate CPAP, specially designed oral appliances are frequently an useful alternative. Particularly mandibular advancement devices have been demonstrated to be successful in treating mild to moderate OSA as well as snoring.
A person is more likely to snore if the muscles encircling their airway relax. Exercises to enhance muscle tone in the mouth, tongue, and throat can combat this and lessen snoring.
Anti-snoring mouth exercises often need to be done daily for two or three months to be helpful. These exercises have been most successful in those with mild snoring.
Devices for Positive Airway Pressure
One of the most popular treatments for sleep apnea in adults is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) equipment. They use a hose and a mask to push air into the airway, keeping it clear of obstruction. Although Bi-PAP machines are identical, the pressure levels for inhaling and exhaling are different. The “smart” APAP machines adjust the pressure as necessary.
Sleep apnea and the snoring it causes can frequently be treated using CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP equipment. These gadgets must be purchased with a prescription and calibrated to your breathing pattern. To begin using a PAP device, it is crucial to collaborate with a sleep technologist.
A PAP mask may feel awkward at first, but most users grow accustomed to it and discover that using the device significantly lessens snoring and enhances sleep.
Surgery is rarely the first-line treatment for sleep apnea or snoring in adults, although it may be an option if other methods are unsuccessful.
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is a procedure that expands the airway by removing tissue from the surrounding area. Additionally, nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or other obstructions of the nasal passageways can be treated surgically.
Although several less invasive surgical procedures have been created, there is currently little data from clinical trials to support either their advantages or disadvantages.
How to Deal With Someone Who Snores in a Bed or Bedroom
One of the most significant effects of snoring is on the person who sleeps in the same bed or room as the snorer. Their sleep may be disturbed by chronic snoring, which could also lead to conflict in the home.
The quickest fix is clearly to stop snoring, but this is not always possible. If so, utilising earplugs may make it easier for a sleeping partner to deal with snoring. A fan, white noise machine, or even a white noise app could be used to block off light snoring.