Why does snoring happen?
When you breathe while asleep, air passes down your throat, which causes snoring. This results in harsh, grating noises when the relaxed tissues in your throat vibrate.
Both your and your partner’s sleep may be disturbed by snoring. Snoring is a sign that should not be disregarded, even if it is not very bothersome to you. Snoring may be a sign of a serious medical condition, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), clogged airways, obesity, or a problem with the way your mouth, nose, or throat are built.
Other times, simply resting on your back or consuming alcohol too soon before bed can result in snoring.
How do you silence your snores?
While snoring on its own is typically not harmful, it can be bothersome, especially for your sleeping mate. Fortunately, there are things you can do to solve the issue. Start by altering your lifestyle and attempting easy DIY solutions to solve the issue. You might also attempt one of the several items advertised as snoring remedies.
However, if you snore and you also frequently feel sleepy or exhausted throughout the day, you may have sleep apnea. Hypertension and other more significant medical issues might result from sleep apnea. If the quality of your sleep is being harmed by your snoring, see a doctor.
Home cures and snoring lifestyle modifications:
Simple home remedies are frequently effective in treating cases of snoring brought on by benign factors, such as sleeping posture. Altering one’s way of life can also assist treat snoring.
- Sleep on your side first
Your tongue may shift to the back of your throat when you sleep on your back, partially obstructing the air passage. You might only need to sleep on your side to allow air to circulate freely and lessen or stop your snoring. You can also try raising the head of your bed by placing a wedge pillow or an additional pillow on top of it, or by placing blocks of wood beneath the top of the bed frame to support the head of the bed.
- Get adequate rest
As advised by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society, ensure you receive the 7-9 hours of sleep each night that people require.
Your likelihood of snoring may rise if you lack sleep. This is due to the possibility that it will relax the muscles in your throat, making you more prone to airway obstruction. Since snoring causes disrupted sleep, it might also increase your risk of sleep deprivation.
- Raise your bed’s head
By keeping your airways open, raising the head of your bed a few inches may help prevent snoring. To get a little more height, you can use items like pillows or bed risers. Stick-on nasal strips can be applied to the bridge of your nose to help widen the nasal airway.
- Use nasal strips or a nasal dilator
This can improve the efficiency of your breathing and lessen or stop snoring. Another option is to use an external nasal dilator, which is a stiffened adhesive strip placed across the nostrils on top of the nose. Breathing may become easier because of a reduction in airflow resistance.
There are also internal nasal dilators that you put into your nose.
- Limit or stay away from alcohol before bed
Try to avoid drinking for at least 3 hours before going to bed. Alcohol can cause snoring by relaxing the muscles in the throat.
Additionally, alcohol can make it difficult for you to sleep. For instance, drinking alcohol is connected to REM sleep durations that are shorter. Since memory consolidation and dreaming take place during this phase of sleep, REM is significant.
- Avoid sedative use right before bed
If you use sedatives, discuss your alternatives with your doctor. Your snoring may be reduced if you stop using sedatives before night. Like alcohol, sedatives can relax muscles, including those in your throat.
Avoid taking muscle-relaxing drugs in the evening. One important class of drugs to stay away from is benzodiazepines. These drugs, which are typically used to treat anxiety, include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan), and are also referred to as tranquilizers or sedatives. For insomnia, benzodiazepines may also be administered. Estazolam (ProSom) and temazepam are two examples that are occasionally used for this purpose (Restoril). But the long-term use of these drugs to treat insomnia is not advised (more than two to four weeks). These medicines, like alcohol, may cause the throat’s muscles to relax.
- If you smoke, try to quit
Your snoring may get worse if you smoke regularly. Smoking may raise your risk of OSA or make the condition worse, which is one explanation for this. There needs to be more definitive research.
Discuss treatments that can help you stop smoking with your doctors, such as patches or gum.
- Retain a healthy weight
Losing weight will assist in reducing throat tissue if you are overweight. Your snoring can be brought on by too much tissue. By consuming fewer calories overall, you can lose weight by eating nutrient-dense foods in smaller portions. Try to regularly exercise each day. You can also think about asking a physician or a dietitian for assistance.
Simple snoring might be helped by these lifestyle modifications and DIY solutions. Make an appointment with your doctor, however, if you believe you may have sleep apnea.
The medical treatments for snoring:
To acquire medical attention, you need to address the underlying condition in some cases of snoring, it is vital to see a doctor.
The following are some medical procedures frequently used to treat snoring and its many causes:
- Address ongoing allergies
Your ability to breathe through your nose can be compromised by allergies, which causes you to use your mouth. You are more likely to snore because of this. Have a discussion with your doctor about any OTC (Over counter) or prescription allergy drugs that might help your problem. There are several different types of them, including pills, liquids, and nasal sprays.
Choices consist of:
Non-sedating antihistamines like cetirizine (Zyrtec), levocetirizine (Xyzal), and loratadine (Claritin); sedative antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl), inhaled nasal corticosteroids like fluticasone (Flonase) and triamcinolone (Nasacort), and oral decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and phenylephrine (Sudafed PE), only for short-term usage, and zileuton (Zyflo).
- Fix structural and anatomical issues with your nose
Some people have a deviated septum because it is a birth defect or a result of an injury. The obstruction to airflow is the misalignment of the wall between the two sides of the nose.
Snoring can be brought on by mouth breathing while sleeping due to a deviated septum. To treat this issue, a procedure known as a septoplasty may be required.
- For OSA, use a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure)
The usual course of treatment for OSA involves a CPAP machine. You must sleep with a pressurized air mask covering your mouth, nose, or both. This may assist in keeping your airways clear.
There are various sorts of masks available, including some that are more comfortable for those who wear glasses or breathe through their mouths when they sleep or for those who do either.
- Make use of an oral device
Oral appliances are specialized tools that dentists recommend and fit. These gadgets make the upper airway bigger as you sleep, which lessens snoring. Most frequently, they operate through one or more of the following mechanisms:
Moving the soft palate, retracting the tongue, and moving the lower jaw (mandible)
Oral appliances are advised for those who desire therapy for their snoring and have not achieved relief with conservative treatments, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
- Put palatal implants in
This surgery, also known as the pillar treatment, aims to lessen or halt snoring and improve OSA.
To lessen tissue vibration during this treatment, small implants are placed in the soft palate. To assist you to stop snoring, palatal implants are made to strengthen your soft palate.
For those with mild to moderate sleep apnea, this therapy is suitable. People with severe sleep apnea or who are obese should not use it.
- Schedule a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
The UPPP surgery helps to open the airway by removing extra tissue from the throat. This may occasionally make it easier for air to pass past the throat during breathing, which will lessen snoring. Both conventional surgical methods and laser assistance are available, allowing for outpatient rehabilitation.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that UPPP or laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) can reduce snoring intensity as assessed by patient reports, including research from 2008 and a study from 2014. Even bed partner accounts were included in certain studies, such as an older 1999 study.
According to clinical patient follow-up, the effects of these treatments do not seem to be long-lasting.
- Take Radio Frequency ablation into consideration (RFA)
Low-intensity radio waves are used in this minimally invasive procedure to shrink the tissue on your soft palate. Somnoplasty, the name of a trademarked variation of RFA, is another name for the technique that is occasionally used.
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