The hoarse or harsh sound of the nose or mouth that occurs when breathing is partially obstructed during sleep. Snoring can have causes that are not due to the underlying disease. Examples include nasal congestion, an anatomical variation of the nose and soft palate, or alcohol consumption. It is well known that the maintenance of a healthy diet, and thus a healthy weight, is at the top of the list when it comes to what you can do to fight a snore.
Snoring is the noisy breathing while you sleep. It is a common disease that can affect anyone, although it occurs more often in men and people who are overweight. With aging, snoring also gets worse.
Snoring once in a while is usually not a serious problem. But if you are a long-time snorer, you are not only disrupting the sleep patterns of your loved ones, but you are affecting your quality of sleep.Snoring itself can be a symptom of health issues like obstructive sleep apnea. If you snore often or very loudly, you may need medical help so that you can get a good night’s sleep.
Types of snoring
If you snore at night or have heard someone snore before, you might be wondering why it sometimes sounds different. Indeed, several types of snoring can occur. Although all snoring indicates that your body cannot breathe smoothly.
One of the types of snoring is nasal snoring. Nasal snoring is the result of blocked nostrils. Clogged nostrils are the result of a deviated septum, allergies, a cold or flu, taking certain types of medications, or smoking. If you find that your nose is stuffy at night, it’s important to understand why it’s stuffy. Once you determine the cause, you can treat it accordingly. Taking allergy medication, quitting smoking, giving a nasal rinse, using nasal strips, or having corrective surgery for your deviated septum can help with snoring.
Snoring in the mouth
Another type of snoring is mouth snoring. Mouth snoring occurs when someone breathes through their mouth rather than through their nose while they sleep. It is usually caused by enlarged tonsils, blocked nasal passages, or weak palatal tissue. If you cannot breathe through your nose when you sleep, your body automatically breathes through your mouth. Resolving the cause of mouth breathing can prevent you from snoring. For example, removing your tonsils can help.
Snoring based on tongue
If your tongue becomes too relaxed while you sleep, it can lead to tongue-based snoring. When the tongue becomes too relaxed, it can block the airways. This usually happens in people who drink alcohol, have excessive neck fat, use sleeping pills, or sleep on their backs. By simply cutting out alcohol, losing weight, stopping sleeping pills, or sleeping on your side, you can break your snoring habit. Oral appliance therapy is also incredibly beneficial for those who suffer from tongue-based snoring.
Man lies in bed with his fingers in his ears next to his snoring wife Throat-based snoring is the loudest type of snoring you will hear, and it’s usually the most dangerous as well. Snoring in the throat is usually a strong indicator of sleep apnea. When you suffer from sleep apnea, you stop breathing at night due to airway obstruction. When you stop breathing, your body begins to choke or cough to open your airways and allow you to breathe again. This vicious cycle called apnea can happen hundreds of times overnight. As a result, you will snore and not get a good quality night’s sleep.
|Closed-mouth snoring||May show a problem with your tongue|
|Open-mouth snoring||It may be related to the tissues in your throat|
|Snoring when sleeping on your back||Probably mild snoring-Improvements in sleep habits and lifestyle changes can be effective remedies.|
|Snoring in all sleep positions||Can mean your snoring is more severe and may require a more comprehensive treatment|
Because people snore for various reasons, it is important to understand why you snore. Once you understand why you snore, you can find the right solutions for a calmer, deeper sleep.
Common causes of snoring include:
Age: As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat narrows, and your throat muscle tone decreases. While there is nothing you can do to get older, lifestyle changes, new bedtime routines, and throat exercises can all help prevent snoring.
Being overweight or deformed: Fat tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring. Even if you are not generally overweight, carrying excess weight just around your neck or throat can cause snoring. Sometimes exercising and losing weight can be enough to stop your snoring.
The way you’re built: Men have narrower airways than women and are more likely to snore. A narrow throat, cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical characteristics that contribute to snoring are often inherited. Again, even if you have no control over your build or gender, you can control your snoring with the right lifestyle changes, bedtime routines, and throat exercises.
Nasal and Sinus Problems: A blocked respiratory tract or a blocked nose makes it difficult to inhale and creates a void in the throat, leading to snoring.
Alcohol, smoking, and medications: Consuming alcohol, smoking, and certain medications, such as tranquilizers like lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium), can increase muscle relaxation, causing more snoring.
Sleeping Posture: Sleeping flat on your back helps the flesh in your throat to relax and block the respiratory tract. Changing your sleeping position can help.
Treatments for snoring include:
- Lifestyle changes: Your doctor may tell you to lose weight or stop drinking alcohol before bed.
- Oral appliances: You wear a small plastic appliance in your mouth while you sleep. It keeps your respiratory tract open by moving your jaw or tongue.
- Surgery: Several types of procedures can help stop snoring. Your doctor may remove or shrink the tissue in your throat or make your soft palate more rigid.
- CPAP: A continuous positive airway pressure device treats sleep apnea and can reduce snoring by blowing air into your airways while you sleep.
To diagnose your condition, your doctor will look at your signs and symptoms, as well as your medical history. Your physician will also do a physical exam.
Your physician may ask you or your partner questions about when and how you snore to help you assess the severity of the problem. If your child snores, you will be asked about the severity of your child’s snoring.
Your doctor may order an imaging test, such as an x-ray, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging. These tests check the structure of your airways for problems, such as a deviated septum.
Depending on the severity of your snoring and other symptoms, your physician may want to conduct a sleep study. Sleep studies may sometimes be performed at home.
However, depending on your other medical conditions and other sleep symptoms, you may need to stay overnight in a sleep center to have a thorough study of your breathing while sleeping, called polysomnography.
In polysomnography, you are connected to many sensors and observed overnight. During the sleep study, the following information is recorded:
- Brain waves
- Oxygen level in the blood
- Respiratory rate
- Stages of sleep
- Eye and leg movements
Home remedies for snoring
Lose weight if you are overweight
Weight loss helps in reducing the amount of tissue in your throat that could be the reason you’re snoring. You can lose weight by reducing your overall calorie intake by eating smaller portions and healthier foods. Make sure you exercise regularly every day. You may also consider seeing your physician or a nutritionist for help.
Sleep by your side
Sleeping on your back sometimes causes your tongue to move towards the back of the throat, which in part blocks the flow of air through your throat. Sleeping on the side may be all you have to do to allow air to flow easily and reduce or stop your snoring.
Raise the head of your bed
Raising the head of your bed four inches can help reduce your snoring by keeping your airways open.
Using nasal strips or an external nasal dilator
Self-adhesive nasal strips can be placed over the bridge of the nose to help increase space in the nasal passage. It may make your breathing more effective and decrease or eliminate your snoring. You can also try a nasal dilator, which is a stiffened adhesive strip applied to the top of the nose through the nostrils. This can decrease the resistance to airflow, which makes it easier to breathe.
Treat chronic allergies
Allergies can reduce airflow through the nose, which causes you to breathe through the mouth. This increases the likelihood of your snoring. Talk to your doctor about the type of over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications that can improve your condition.
Correct the structural problems of your nose
Some people are born with or have an injury that gives them a deviated septum. It is the misalignment of the wall that separates the two sides of the nose that limits air circulation. This can cause mouth breathing during sleep, causing snoring. It may be necessary to undergo surgery to correct this condition. Talk to your doctor.
Limit or avoid alcohol before bed
Do not consume alcohol for at least two hours before bedtime. Alcohol can relax the muscles in the throat, causing snoring.
Avoid taking sedatives before bed
If you snore and take sedatives, talk to your physician to see what your options are. Stopping the use of sedatives before bed may relieve your snoring.
Smoking is an unhealthy habit that can make your snoring even worse. Talk to your doctor about therapies – such as gums or patches – that can help you quit smoking.
Get enough sleep
Use an oral appliance
Mouthpieces called “mouth appliances” can help keep your airways open, allowing you to breathe easier. This prevents snoring. You must see your dentist have one of these devices made.
Using a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine
If medically appropriate, wearing an air mask over your nose when you sleep can help keep your airways open. This treatment is usually recommended to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
Wear palatal implants
Also called the “pillar procedure,” this treatment involves injecting braided strands of polyester filament into the soft palate of your mouth. This stiffens it to reduce snoring.
Get UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty)
This type of surgery tightens the tissue in the throat in the hope of reducing snoring. Laser-assisted uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (LAUPPP), which is sometimes more efficient compared to UPPP, is also available.
Radiofrequency tissue ablation (somnoplasty)
Snoring can be caused by several factors, such as the anatomy of your mouth and sinuses, alcohol consumption, allergies, a cold, and your weight. When you doze off and progress from light sleep to deep sleep, the muscles in the roof of your mouth (soft palate), tongue and throat relax.
- If you’re overweight, lose weight.
- Sleep on your side.
- Raise the head of your bed.
- Nasal strips or an external nasal dilator.
- Treat nasal congestion or obstruction.
- Limit or avoid alcohol and sedatives.
- Quit smoking.
- Get enough sleep.
- Soy milk
- Olive oil