While it might not seem like a big problem, the truth is that if you snore on a regular basis, it can interfere with your life. For one thing, loud snoring is likely to keep up or wake up anyone who shares a bedroom with you. For another, it can be a sign of a condition known as sleep apnea, which can affect your sleep and your health.
Let's take a look at why people snore, when you should be concerned, and what you can do about the issue.
Why do some people snore? There are several possible reasons. When you fall asleep, your tongue, throat, and soft palate muscles all relax. In some people, the muscles relax so much that they get in the way of the airway. The blockage can cause the tissues around the airway to vibrate when you try to breathe in and out. The vibrations are responsible for the loud, rasping sounds associated with snoring.
A few factors can make a person more likely to snore. The shape of a person's soft palate can contribute to snoring. For example, people with a low or thick palate often have a narrower airway. Weight can also affect the airway, as people who are carrying extra pounds often have more tissue in the back of the throat.
Drinking alcohol before bed can also make you more likely to snore, as alcohol relaxes the muscles, making it more likely that they will block your airway.
How you sleep can also lead to snoring or not. People who sleep on their back tend to snore more, as the pressure of gravity alters the shape of the airway. Chronic nasal problems, such as a deviated septum, can also make you more likely to snore.
In many cases, snoring isn't a big deal. If you have a few beers before bed or are dealing with a cold, you're likely to snore. Your partner might feel annoyed with you in the morning, but the issue isn't something that happens nightly.
There are instances when snoring can be a sign of a bigger problem, though. When it's accompanied by other symptoms, it can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. When a person has sleep apnea, they stop breathing during sleep. When a person stops breathing while asleep, the brain sends a signal to wake them up, so that breathing can resume.
Snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, as is feeling tired in the daytime, trouble concentrating, headaches, and a sore throat in the morning. Some people also experience elevated blood pressure when they have sleep apnea.
How you treat snoring depends what's causing it and whether or not it's connected to sleep apnea. Even if you only snore occasionally, it can be worth looking into treatment so that you don't keep annoying your partner.
Making some changes to your habits and lifestyle might help to prevent snoring. For example, some people find that they stop snoring when they lose weight. Others find that cutting back on alcohol helps to reduce snoring. In some cases, changing one's sleeping position is sufficient enough to put an end to the snores.
If you snore as a result of sleep apnea, treatment often involves using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device to deliver a steady stream of pressurized air to the airway as you sleep. The added pressure helps to keep the airway open so that you don't stop breathing during your sleep. The device also helps reduce snoring.
Dr. Haitham Masri and Dr. Fatina Masri each have more than two decades of experience performing plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures. They offer a range of facial and body procedures as well as ENT procedures. They can help you understand why you're snoring what you can do to reduce or prevent the issue. To schedule your free patient consultation at Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, call (866) 487-3223 today.