Snoring is the hoarse or harsh sound that 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. Sometimes it may also indicate a serious health condition. In addition, snoring can be a nuisance to your partner.
Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol close to bedtime or sleeping on your side, can help stop snoring.
In addition, medical devices and surgery are available that may reduce disruptive snoring. However, these aren’t suitable or necessary for everyone who snores.
Snoring is often associated with a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
Not all snorers have OSA, but if snoring is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, it may be an indication to see a doctor for further evaluation for OSA:
- Witnessed breathing pauses during sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Morning headaches
- Sore throat upon awakening
- Restless sleep
- Gasping or choking at night
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain at night
- Your snoring is so loud it’s disrupting your partner’s sleep
People with obstructive sleep apnoea usually experience periods when breathing slows or stops at least five times during every hour of sleep.
Risk factors that may contribute to snoring include:
- Being a man. Men are more likely to snore or have sleep apnoea than are women.
- Being overweight. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to snore or have obstructive sleep apnoea.
- Having a narrow airway. Some people may have a long soft palate, or large tonsils or adenoids, which can narrow the airway and cause snoring.
- Drinking alcohol. Alcohol relaxes your throat muscles, increasing the risk of snoring.
- Having nasal problems. If you have a structural defect in your airway, such as a deviated septum, or your nose is chronically congested, your risk of snoring is greater.
- Having a family history of snoring or obstructive sleep apnoea. Heredity is a potential risk factor for OSA.
Our team can help you to manage snoring or sleep apnoea using a range of techniques, including anti-snoring devices such as a simple jaw-positioning mouthpiece that gently repositions your lower jaw to help keep your airway open as you sleep.
Don’t keep suffering from poor sleep – call us on (03) 9484 4477 to discuss how we can help you.