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Do You Snore? What Can You Do About It?


Jul 20, 2018

Snoring might seem like a minor inconvenience, but it can actually have a major impact on your health. This noisy condition takes place when the airways are blocked and that can drastically affect one’s sleep cycle.

It is also important to remember that snoring is usually the result of another health condition that must be addressed. Nearly 40 percent of those who snore also have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. When left untreated, those disorders will increase an individual’s risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, and sudden cognitive decline.

Luckily, most people can put an end to their snoring with a few lifestyle changes. For more severe cases, reconstructive surgery might be necessary. Here is a quick look at some of the most effective treatments and remedies for snoring.

Common Snoring Treatments or Lifestyle Changes

Stay at a Healthy Weight

One of the best ways to reduce your risk of snoring is to stay at a healthy weight. Gaining just a few pounds will drastically increase your risk of snoring, sleep apnea, and dozens of other sleep disorders. In order to lose weight, you must stick to a healthy diet and exercise at least a few times a week. Cutting out soda, limiting your carbs, and other minor dietary changes could help you lose multiple pounds in just a few weeks. Many sleep specialists won’t suggest any major procedures or treatments until their patients are within a healthy weight range.

Oral Appliances

While you are sleeping, your tongue and palate cover up part of your throat. Depending on your genetics and the layout of your mouth, that might result in snoring. A device that resembles a mouthguard can be used to push the tongue down and reposition the jaw. These devices are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, but they only work in very specific situations. They also need to be made custom for every patient by an experienced dentist or orthodontist. Wearing a mouthguard that doesn’t fit properly can actually make the snoring much worse.

Nasal Sprays and Other Medications 

Snoring is sometimes caused by excess mucus in the airways. That mucus is there to protect your throat and lungs, but your body might produce too much of it. Many different oral medications and nasal sprays are designed to suppress the production of mucus and other bodily fluids. Unfortunately, some of those medications also produce unwanted side effects. Before taking any medications or using any sprays, you should first be evaluated by a sleep specialist. You must also carefully follow all of the instructions on the bottle and notify your doctor of any unusual side effects.

Avoid Sedatives

Sedatives will help you get to sleep faster, but the sleep won’t be as restorative. When a sedative is taken just before bed, it relaxes all of the muscles throughout the face and neck. That will partially close off the throat and make breathing much more difficult. If you are taking any medications, then you should ask your doctor if snoring is a potential side effect. You will also need to limit your intake of alcohol before bed. Having more than one or two servings a night will increase your risk of snoring and reduce your quality of sleep.

Surgery

Reconstructive surgery is usually only carried out after all other options have been exhausted. During one of these procedures, the surgeon typically removes any extra soft tissue that is covering the throat. These procedures take at least a few days to recover from, and you will most likely need to be observed by a medical professional during that time. The biggest benefit of these procedures is the fact that the results can last for decades. With the proper aftercare and some lifestyle changes, reconstructive surgery could permanently put an end to your snoring.

What to Remember About Snoring

  • Snoring is not a natural part of the sleeping process
  • Snoring can interrupt your sleep cycle and impact other facets of your health
  • This noisy condition is typically caused by other health complications
  • Most people can easily manage their snoring with simple lifestyle changes
  • Those who snore must be evaluated by a doctor or sleep specialist