Snoring can be obnoxious. Have you ever had a roommate or a partner that was absolutely impossible to sleep in the same room with? Everyone snores occasionally, but if someone is a chronic snorer, it may be indicative that something else might be wrong. Here are a few potential causes of snoring, and a couple of things that can be done to help someone snore a little less.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea can Cause Snoring
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a potentially lethal illness during which breathing stops and starts repetitively while someone is sleeping. When throat muscles relax too much, they block the entry of air into the lungs. OSA is oftentimes a root cause for a variety of other serious complications such as heart disease, heart attacks, fatigue, glaucoma, and coronary artery disease. It can lead to a heightened potential for heart attacks and strokes.
A couple of symptoms of OSA are: -Loud snoring -Waking up choking or gasping -Long pauses between breaths while sleeping -Daytime fatigue -Difficulty concentrating
Not getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night can cause further throat relaxation when finally asleep.
Congestion from a cold or allergies can cut off the nose as a viable airway and cause snoring, as can a crooked nose bridge- or a deviated septum.
If you have a thick, low soft palate or an elongated uvula, this can restrict your airway and cause snoring. Additionally, if you are overweight, the additional weight can add extra tissue to the back of the throat, restricting airflow to the lungs.
Drinking alcohol before bed can contribute to increased snoring. Not only does alcohol relax the throat muscles, but it also prevents our natural defense against airway obstructions from working properly.
Sad, but true- especially if you find that you sleep best on your back. Sleeping on your back causes gravity to work against you, narrowing your airway and making it harder for you to breathe and sleep at night.
If you think you might have a snoring problem, Dr. Siman specializes in treating OSA. Read more about his groundbreaking treatment here, and see if your snoring issue is a symptom of sleep apnea.