SNORING & TREATMENT

Snoring is an audible noise resulting from the upper airway's vibration. Soft palate and uvula in the airway narrow or obstruct the airflow, causing vibration and loud noise.

According to the Sleep Foundation, snoring is a common problem in the United States, and about 57% of male and 40% of female individuals suffer from snoring. The Sleep Foundation also states that snoring affects 27% of children in the U.S.

Obstructed airflow can cause acute and chronic conditions, including sleep apnea, stress, depression, and respiratory disorders. There are many causes of restricted airflow, including:

  • Accumulated fatty tissues in and around the airway

  • Restriction or obstruction, including polyps, in the nasal passages

  • Blockage in the upper airway or enlarged tonsils

  • Loss of muscle tone due to aging, poor sleep habits, or muscle relaxants

  • Smoking, alcohol, and narcotics can also cause obstructions in the airway

 

Types of Snoring

The main types of snoring are nasal, mouth, tongue snoring, and sleep apnea. Nasal snoring occurs when the nasal passages get blocked. Mouth snoring is also due to clogged nasal passages, preventing you from breathing through your nose. That's why many people breathe through their mouths while asleep.

Inconsistent high-pitched sounds from the airway are a clear sign of tongue snoring. Sleep apnea is a severe form of snoring that produces the loudest and high-pitched audible noises. The condition can worsen over time, so you must seek medical attention to treat it and avoid complications.

Causes of Snoring

Common causes of snoring are smoking, alcohol consumption, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, sleeping on the back, cold, flu, allergy, congestion in nasal passageways, pregnancy, aging, and underdeveloped jaws.

A research study published on NCBI states that people suffering from obesity, stress, depression, and low lipoprotein levels (good cholesterol) are more likely to snore and disturb their partners.

How is it Linked to Sleep Apnea?

Snoring occurs when the nasal or respiratory structures strike each other and restrict the airflow. Striking of nasal structures produces heavy vibrations while you breathe.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by obstructed airflow, leading to reduced or compromised airflow. Snoring in children is due to adenoids and tonsils.

One study highlights that sleep apnea can cause congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and neurological issues. Another research study suggests that 50% of people suffering from high blood pressure can experience sleep apnea.

Diagnosis

Although your spouse, parents, or friend can recognize snoring, sleep apnea requires proper diagnosis. The purpose is to determine whether you suffer from simple snoring or mild/moderate/severe sleep apnea.

Polysomnography, also known as a sleep study, provides an accurate diagnosis, allowing the health provider to get valuable information and use it to develop a treatment plan that aligns with your specific condition and reduces sleep apnea symptoms. However, in order to have a polysomnography done, you will need to go to sleep lab and stay overnight for observation. Here in our office, we offer a complimentary Home Sleep Test with Vivoscore. VivoScore consists of a single-sensor ring recorder that works with a mobile phone application and proprietary cloud-based algorithms to evaluate sleep quality and clinically diagnose sleep apnea. Call us today at (360) 779-1566 for a complimentary Home Sleep Test!

Treatment Options

Each patient suffering from a sleep disorder or sleep apnea has different symptoms and signs. The reason is that sleep disorders vary from patient to patient, and each treatment option for sleep apnea depends on the patient's physical health status, medical history, and underlying symptoms. However, standard treatment options for snoring and sleep apnea are:

 

Lifestyle Changes: Lifestyle modification involves losing weight, decreasing alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, creating an exercise regimen, and altering sleep-related medications.

 

Likewise, avoid sleeping on your back to streamline airflow and ease obstruction in the nasal passageways. The best sleeping position for people who snore is lying on the side.

Snore Guard: A snore guard is a cutting-edge device or accessory that keeps your jaw forward and aligned, creating enough room for the air to flow through the respiratory tract. So, investing in a high-quality snore guard or the one recommended/prescribed by your health provider can prevent snoring sounds and help you sleep properly.

In addition, a snore guard is an advanced and custom-made device for each patient suffering from snoring. It repositions your tongue and the lower jaw and can benefit people with mild or moderate sleep apnea.

Surgery: Surgery is one of the most widely used treatment options for people with snoring and sleep apnea. However, it is an invasive procedure and can cause severe trauma, pain, discomfort, and inflammation. Surgery can also damage the surrounding muscles, tissues, and nerves, leading to various complications.

Final Words

Snoring is a common sleep-related issue in the United States, and hundreds of thousands of individuals look for the best ways to prevent snoring and breathe properly while asleep. Although you can take medications or undergo surgery, the best remedies for snoring are lifestyle changes and snore guards.

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