Snoring is the act of making a snorting sound while asleep. Snoring can be caused by several factors, such as overweight, the anatomy of the mouth and sinuses, chronic allergies, and consuming alcohol or taking sedatives at bedtime. When you progress from light sleep to deep sleep, the muscles in the roof of your mouth tongue, and throat relax, making you snore. The hoarse sound while snoring occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe. Nearly everyone snores now and then, but for some people, it can be a chronic problem. Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol at bedtime, or sleeping on your side, can help reduce snoring. There are certain medical devices also available that may reduce disruptive snoring.
Symptoms of Snoring
Loud snoring is often characterized by a loud snort or gasping sound. It is accompanied by any of the following symptoms like breathing pauses during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, and difficulty in concentrating, sore throat upon awakening, restless sleep, and high blood pressure.
Causes of snoring
The following conditions can affect the airway and cause snoring:
The anatomy of the mouth can be one of the factors in causing snoring at night. Having a low, thick soft palate can narrow your airway. People who are overweight may have extra tissues in the back of their throats that may narrow their airways. Airflow can be obstructed if the tissue hanging from the soft palate is elongated. Alcohol consumption at bedtime can also cause incessant snoring as it relaxes throat muscles and decreases your natural defenses against airway obstruction. Chronic nasal congestion or a deviated nasal septum may also cause snoring. Sleep deprivation is another factor responsible for snoring. Not getting enough sleep can lead to further throat relaxation.
To diagnose your snoring condition, the doctor will review your symptoms, and medical history, and then perform a physical examination. He may ask your partner some questions about your snoring patterns to assess the severity of the problem. You would be required to undergo certain medical tests such as imaging, a computerized tomography scan, or magnetic resonance imaging MRI. These tests check the structure of your airway for problems, such as a deviated septum.
Depending on the severity of your snoring and other symptoms, your doctor may want to conduct a sleep study. You may be required to stay overnight at a sleep center to undergo an in-depth analysis of your breathing during sleep by a study, called polysomnography.
Remedies for snoring
Snoring treatments range from natural remedies to medication, and surgical procedures. You can start with lifestyle changes like losing weight, treating nasal congestion, avoiding alcohol, and sedatives close to bedtime, and avoiding sleeping on your back.
You can also explore the option of using oral appliances like dental mouthpieces that help advance the position of your jaw, tongue, and soft palate to keep your air passage open, according to this Dentist in Raleigh. You can also explore the option of using oral appliances like dental mouthpieces that help advance the position of your jaw, tongue, and soft palate to keep your air passage open. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is another remedy for snoring that involves wearing a mask over your nose or mouth while you sleep. The mask directs pressurized air from a small bedside pump to your airway to keep it open during sleep. Certain surgical procedures seek to open the upper airway and prevent significant narrowing during sleep through a variety of techniques.