Often, snoring is a relatively minor issue, but it can be a sign of a more severe problem. It can be an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a breathing disorder that can cause you to stop breathing hundreds of times during the night. If left untreated, it can have severe consequences for your health. You may be drowsy, experience memory problems, and even experience cardiac problems.
Snoring Caused by the Soft Tissues
Snoring is generally caused by the soft tissues in your throat vibrating when air is forced through them. This can occur due to a variety of factors, including allergies, colds, nasal stuffiness, hormonal changes during pregnancy, and a deviated septum. If you snore, try to avoid drinking alcohol before bed. Alcohol can relax the muscles in the throat, which can reduce the airway's ability to function.
Sleeping On Your Back
Sleeping on your back can cause the soft tissues in the back of your throat to collapse. You will need to change your sleeping position to help improve airflow. Also, avoid smoking, as smoking can cause swelling and narrow your airway. You should also avoid sedatives before bed. These medications can also cause relaxation of the muscles in your throat, which can contribute to snoring. You can also help prevent snoring by using a snoring pillow to keep your head and neck in the proper position.
Over the Age of 50
If you are over the age of 50, you may be at a higher risk for snoring. As you age, the soft tissues in your throat become more relaxed and the airways narrow. If you have a thick soft palate, this may obstruct airflow too.
If you are overweight, you may have extra-soft tissues in your throat, which can also obstruct airflow. You should try to lose weight if you have trouble sleeping because being overweight may cause your airway to narrow.
Snoring can be a very frustrating experience. It can affect your sleep and affect your judgment, as well as your ability to handle stress and conflict. It can also disrupt your partner's sleep. You may also suffer from sleep deprivation, which can lead to further relaxation of the throat. You can help reduce snoring by making changes to your lifestyle. If you do have OSA, you will need regular checkups and treatment. Consult with your doctor for OSA diagnosis and treatment based on your current sleep condition.
If you know you might be suffering from OSA, you may like to take a Home Sleep Study Test to find out your apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). It is a scale that tells whether you have a sleep disorder called apnea and, if so, how serious it is.
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