Snoring may be the result of how a person’s nose or jaw is shaped, or it may be caused by other factors that result in the narrowing of a person’s airway. When this occurs, relaxed tissues in a person’s throat can vibrate, which is more commonly referred to as snoring.
While many people may be completely unaware of their snoring problems, the issues are far less likely to be overlooked by those people’s spouses or significant others they share beds with. In such cases, snoring can interfere with the other person’s ability to get a peaceful night’s rest.
As the Mayo Clinic notes, snoring is often associated with the sleep disorder obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but not all snorers necessarily have OSA. In many cases, snoring issues may be resolved through simple lifestyle changes or possibly even medical devices or surgery.
Causes of Snoring
Snoring can be the result of multiple factors. While the anatomy of a person’s mouth and sinuses will undoubtedly be a factor, some of the other contributing factors to snoring include, but are not limited to:
- Alcohol Consumption — Alcohol can relax your throat muscles and decrease defenses against airway obstruction.
- Sleep Position — People who sleep on their back often snore the loudest and most frequently.
- Sleep Deprivation — A lack of sleep can increase throat relaxation and make a person more likely to snore.
- Nasal Problems — Any number of nasal issues can impact a person’s airways and cause or contribute to snoring.
Certain people can be more predisposed to snoring. Men are much more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than women, and people who are overweight can also be more likely to snore.
Ways to Stop Snoring
People have several different options they can try to stop snoring problems. Some of the most common methods include:
- Changing Sleeping Position — Again, many snorers sleep on their back, and switching to sleeping on their side can solve some snoring problems. A body pillow can be helpful for people who have difficulty adjusting to sleeping on their side.
- Weight Loss — Snoring often affects people who are overweight, and losing weight may be the solution for individuals who only began snoring after gaining additional weight.
- Get More Sleep — Many people who develop snoring habits also have poor sleeping habits. A lack of adequate sleep can contribute to snoring problems.
- Adjust Your Setting — In some cases, snoring issues may be resolved through a simple change of the pillow a person has been sleeping on. In other cases, other contributing factors within a bedroom such as dust mites from ceiling fans and window shades or pet dander could cause snoring.
- Stay Hydrated — Make sure to drink plenty of water (not alcohol though) so your nose and palate do not suffer from dehydration issues that cause snoring.
When a person tries multiple methods to reduce or eliminate snoring unsuccessfully, they should consult with their doctors about possible OSA or related issues.
Are you or your loved one dealing with a snoring issue? Unfortunately, snoring may not always be resolved with a single quick fix, and some people require individualized solutions. Contact Dr. Brown and the OSA team today by calling (631) 983-2463 or contact us online to let us see how we can help.