Snoring can be a major indicator of an obstructive breathing problem that should not be ignored. It is also known to be a sleep apnea symptom. Snoring is estimated to affect fifty-seven percent of men and forty percent of women in the United States. It can even occur in up to twenty-seven percent of children.
Although it might seem harmless, the truth is that snoring could seriously affect your health and cause issues in your relationship. Knowing the basics about snoring, what causes it, when it is dangerous, how to treat it, and how to cope with it can help to encourage better health and eliminate sleep complaints.
What is Snoring?
Snoring is caused by the rattling and vibration of tissues near the airway in the back of the throat. While sleeping, the muscles loosen during sleep narrowing the airway. As we inhale and exhale, the moving air causes the tissue to flutter making a flapping noise. The size and shape of neck muscle and tissues cause some people to be more prone to snoring.
4 Types of Snoring
Nose based snoring occurs when something is blocked in the nasal passages. The blocked nostrils are a result of a deviated septum, allergies, cold or flu, certain medications, or smoking.
Mouth snorers are people who breathe through their mouth instead of their nose while they sleep. It is usually caused by enlarged tonsils, blocked nasal passages, or weak palatal tissue causing you to breathe through your mouth since you can’t breathe through your nose.
Tongue snoring can easily be identified by inconsistent high-pitched sounds. This is caused when the tongue becomes too relaxed and blocks the airway. It is more common in people who drink alcohol, have excessive neck fat, use sleep medication, or sleep on their backs.
Throat snoring is considered the loudest of snores. This type of snores is also likely needing medical attention as it is a strong indicator of sleep apnea which causes you to stop breathing at night due to an obstruction in the airway. Your body will begin to choke or cough to open the airway allowing you to breathe again. This vicious cycle throughout the night can prevent you from getting a good night of quality sleep.
Some Factors That Can Cause Snoring
- Sedative medications
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Consuming alcohol
- Large tonsils, tongue, or soft palate
- A jaw that is small or set-back
- Deviated septum or nasal polyps
Waking up and still feeling tired even after a full night’s sleep can be very frustrating. This is a sign that you may have a snoring problem that could require treatment. The health implications and severity of snoring can vary.
If snoring persists, try taking a sleep quiz to get to the bottom of things. The types of snoring treatments to consider include lifestyle changes, mouth exercises, surgery, and airway pressure devices such as continuous (CPAP), auto (APAP), or bi-level (BIPAP).
Another treatment for snoring is an oral appliance therapy device, or mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is custom fitted by a well-trained dentist who has the skill set and training to treat sleep apnea people.
The device fits in the mouth similar to a retainer or mouth guard and opens the airway by moving the lower jaw and tongue forward while a person sleeps. It is a small, comfortable, and effective device that can be an alternative to the continuous airway pressure device (CPAP) mentioned above. SleepWell Louisiana is promoting the oral appliance therapy device as a snoring treatment option for our patients.
See also: 6 Home Remedies for Snoring
If you suspect that you have a snoring problem, or have not found a snoring treatment in Lafayette, LA, that works, contact SleepWell Louisiana today at (337) 595-5006 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about how we can help stop snoring.
Dr. Gina Liggio Maestri and her staff want each patient’s experience to be as comfortable and relaxing as possible. We value our commitment to delivering excellent care. If you want to stop snoring and have a peaceful night’s sleep, SleepWell Louisiana can help.