Snoring can be a serious issue. Not only are you likely disturbing your partner in bed, but you may be suffering a lower air supply at night. This may even be so bad that you have what is called sleep apnea, in which your airway closes at night, periodically completely cutting off your air supply.
There are many ways to address snoring, but which is the right one for you.
Nasal-Source Snoring Treatments
Your nose can cause snoring either by creating a turbulent airflow or by being partly or completely blocked, forcing you to breathe through your mouth. Breathing through your mouth can cause snoring more than nose-breathing because the tissues at the back of your mouth are more likely to vibrate than those at the back of your nose (although the loudest snoring comes from vibrations in the pharynx).
There are many ways to reduce the severity of snoring caused by your nose. The easiest way is to reduce any potential allergens in the atmosphere that may contribute to blockage of your nose. You might also try breathing strips (sometimes you might choose kinesiology tape instead). If your nasal structures interfere with your breathing, surgery is sometimes recommended.
As we noted above, breathing through your mouth can lead to more snoring. This can be made worse by swollen tonsils and adenoids. However, even if you’re breathing through your nose, your tongue may fall back and partly block your airway.
Mouth-source snoring can be addressed by controlling chronic health problems that lead to swelling of your adenoids and tonsils. In some cases, surgery may be recommended. An oral appliance can also be used to treat this type of snoring. It works by repositioning your jaw, which may decrease restriction of your airway.
Other times, snoring is caused by collapsing of the airway in your throat. This can be caused by lax throat muscles, excess fat in the neck, or a poor position of the jaw (which helps support the throat).
Lax throat muscles can be strengthened with voice training. Also avoid alcohol in the evening, which can lead to more relaxation of your throat. Sleeping on your back can make your throat more likely to collapse, so try to sleep on your side. Losing weight will help reduce snoring.
Finally, an oral appliance can reposition your jaw so that it does a better job of supporting your airway.
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
An important consideration for snorers is determining whether they have sleep apnea. If you wake up tired, have morning headaches, or find yourself dozing off during the day, you should be evaluated for sleep apnea.
To learn more about snoring, sleep apnea, and how to treat them conveniently, please call (303) 691-0267 at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver.