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Snoring is a common problem, but its severity and health implications can vary. Snoring can be mild, occasional and harmless, or it can be a sign of a serious underlying sleep-disordered breathing. More than a quarter of adults snore regularly.
Knowing the basics of snoring, including what causes it, when it's dangerous and how to treat it, can promote better health and eliminate a common cause of sleep problems.
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What causes snoring?
Snoring is caused by Rattling and vibrating fabrics Trusted source manual merck First published in 1899 as a short reference work for physicians and pharmacists, the manual has grown in size and scope to become one of the most widely used comprehensive medical resources by professionals and consumers alike. show source code near the airways in the throat. During sleep, muscles relax and airways narrow. When a person breathes in and out, the moving air causes tissue to move and make noise.
Some people are more likely to snore due to the size and shape of the neck muscles and tissues. In other cases, excessive relaxation of tissues or narrowing of the airways can lead to snoring. Examples of risk factors Trusted source Medline Plus MedlinePlus is an online health information resource for patients, their families and friends. show source code Contributing to an increased risk of snoring are:
- alcohol consumption
- Use of tranquilizers
- chronic stuffy nose
- Large tonsils, tongue or soft palate
- Deviated septum or nasal polyps
- Jaws that are small or recessed
What is the difference between snoring and sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)It is a breathing disorder in which the airways become blocked or collapsed during sleep, resulting in repeated pauses in breathing.
this includes snoring The most common symptoms of OSA Trusted source manual merck First published in 1899 as a short reference work for physicians and pharmacists, the manual has grown in size and scope to become one of the most widely used comprehensive medical resources by professionals and consumers alike. show source code , but not all people who snore have AOS. OSA-related snoring tends to be loud and sound like a person is choking, wheezing, or short of breath Trusted source Updated More than 2 million healthcare professionals worldwide choose UpToDate to make informed care decisions and achieve better health outcomes. UpToDate provides evidence-based clinical decision support that is clear, actionable, and rich in real-world insights. show source code .
OSA disrupts sleep and often disrupts the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body. Milder snoring, often called primary snoring, is common but does not have these other effects.
Is snoring dangerous?
Whether snoring is dangerous depends on its type, severity and frequency.
- Light snoring:Mild, infrequent snoring is normal and usually does not require medical tests or treatment. Its main effect is on a bed partner or roommate who might be disturbed by the occasional noise.
- Primary snoring:Primary snoring occurs more than three nights a week. Due to its frequency, it is more disturbing for bed partners. However, it is generally not considered a health issue unless there are signs of sleep disturbances or sleep apnea, in which case diagnostic testing may be needed.
- Snoring associated with obstructive sleep apnea:Snoring associated with OSA is more concerning from a health point of view. If left untreated, OSA can have a significant impact on a person's sleep and overall health. Untested OSA is linked to dangerous daytime sleepiness and serious health problems such as cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and depression.
When should you see a doctor about snoring?
Many cases of snoring are benign, but it's important to speak to a doctor if there are signs of possible sleep apnea:
- Snoring that occurs three or more times a week
- Very loud or annoying snoring
- Snoring with wheezing, choking, or snorting sounds
- Obesity or recent weight gain
- daytime sleepiness
- Lack of concentration or mental acuity
- Morning headache and constipation
- high pressure
- At nightteeth grinding
- Oftennocturnal urination
If you've noticed any of these signs, it's important to discuss the problem with a doctor, who can determine if further tests or treatments are needed.
How do I know if I snore when I sleep alone?
Unless someone tells them, most people who snore don't know it. That might be part of the reason Sleep apnea is underdiagnosed Trusted source Updated More than 2 million healthcare professionals worldwide choose UpToDate to make informed care decisions and achieve better health outcomes. UpToDate provides evidence-based clinical decision support that is clear, actionable, and rich in real-world insights. show source code .
If you sleep alone, setting up a recording device can help. It could be a simple tape recorder or one of the many smartphone apps, but apps have the advantage of analyzing noise patterns so you can detect likely snoring episodes. It is better to record for several nights, as snoring may not occur every night. That said, apps are not helpful in diagnosing AOS.
It's also important to look for other signs related to sleep disorders, such as: B. Noticeable daytime sleepiness, tiredness, attention or thinking problems, or unexplained mood swings.
What treatments can help stop snoring?
Treatment depends on the type of snoring and the type of problem it is causing.
Treatment may not be necessary for individuals with infrequent or primary snoring unless it is interfering with the person's sleep or the sleep of a person they live with. In these cases, treatments are usually simpler and less invasive. People with sleep apnea often need more comprehensive treatment.
Types of treatment include lifestyle changes, anti-snoring mouthpieces, mouth exercises, positive airway pressure (PAP) devices, and surgery. A person's doctor is in the best position to describe the pros and cons of a treatment in their particular case.
Lifestyle changes can help stop snoring, and in some cases, other treatments may not be necessary. Even when other treatments are prescribed, lifestyle changes are often recommended.
- Maintain a healthy weight:Being overweight or obese are risk factors for snoring andsleep apneaTherefore, maintaining a healthy weight can be an important step towards stopping snoring.
- Limit consumption of alcohol and tranquilizers:Alcohol is a common snoring promoter, and tranquilizers can also trigger snoring.
- Adjusting your sleeping position:When you sleep on your back, your airways can become congested more easily. It may take some time to get used to a different one.sleeping position, but it can be a useful change.
- Elevate the head of the bed:Elevating the top of the bed with risers, a wedge pillow, or an adjustable frame can help reduce snoring.
- Reduction of nasal congestion: Take steps to eliminate itallergiesor other sources of nasal congestion can combat snoring. Breathing strips placed over your nose can help open your nasal passages at night, as can internal nasal expanders.
anti snoring mouthpieces
Abocal anti roncohelps keep your tongue or jaw in a stable position to prevent airway blockage while you sleep. There are two main types of anti snoring mouthpieces.
- Mandibular advancement devices:They work by keeping the lower jaw forward. Many are adjustable so you can find the most comfortable and effective fit.
- Tongue retention devices:These mouthpieces help keep your tongue in place so it doesn't slip back down your throat.
CPAP is still considered the gold standard in the treatment of sleep apnea. While some people are comfortable using a CPAP machine, others find the machine annoying, especially when the machine is noisy or the mask is poorly fitted. Custom-made oral splints are often a suitable alternative for patients with OSA unable to tolerate CPAP Trusted source National Library of Medicine, Biotechnology Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. show source code . Mandibular advancement devices, in particular, have been shown to be effective in treating snoring and mild to moderate OSA. It is important to consult a doctor to develop the best treatment plan.
The relaxation of the muscles around the airways makes a person more likely to snore.Exercises to strengthen the mouth, tongue and throatcan counteract this by building muscle tone to reduce snoring.
Anti-snoring mouth exercises have been found to be the most effective for people who snore lightly and usually need to be done daily for a period of two to three months.
Positive airway pressure devices
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices.are one of the most common treatments for sleep apnea in adults. They pump compressed air through a tube and mask into the airway, preventing it from becoming blocked. Bi-level positive airway pressure devices (BiPAP or BPAP) are similar but have different pressure levels for inhalation and exhalation. Devices that automatically adjust positive airway pressure (APAP) respond to breathing patterns and vary the pressure as needed.
CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP machines are often effective in treating sleep apnea and the snoring associated with it. You need a prescription to get these devices and they need to be fitted to your breathing. For this reason, it's important to work with a sleep coach to get started with a PAP machine.
Wearing a PAP mask can be uncomfortable at first, but most people get used to it and find that using the device noticeably reduces snoring and improves sleep.
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in adultsOperationit is rarely the first line of treatment for snoring or sleep apnea, but it may be an option when other approaches are not effective.
A type of surgery calledUvulopalatopharyngoplasty, dilates the airway by adjusting or removing nearby tissue. Surgery can also treat nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or other blockages in the nasal passages.
Other types of less invasive surgeries have been developed, but so far there is limited evidence from clinical trials about their advantages and disadvantages.
- Severe obstructive sleep apnea associated with louder and more frequent snoringMarch 3, 2023- Research has found that severe obstructive sleep apnea and the supine position are associated with louder and more frequent snoring.
- Habitual snoring linked to sleep and behavior problems in childrenMarch 1, 2023- A survey of caregivers in China found that children's habitual snoring is linked to sleep problems at night and behavior problems during the day.
- Acoustic snoring analysis can help identify obstructive sleep apnea
- Self-reported snoring associated with metabolism-associated fatty liver disease
The news articles listed do not represent the opinion of the Sleep Foundation and are for informational purposes only.