Doctor's Notes on Snoring
Snoring is the noise or sounds produced during sleep by turbulent airflow through narrowed passages with vibrations of the soft tissues at the back of the nose and throat. Signs and symptoms of snoring are a person, while asleep, producing sounds of various intensities while breathing in or out. Sometimes the noise will cause the person to wake up. For others, the noise awakes whoever is trying to sleep in the same bed or room. Snoring is also a symptom of another more serious disorder, sleep apnea (pauses in regular breathing while asleep).
Snoring may be caused by reduced muscle tone in the neck, airway narrowing (allergies), obesity, airway blocking (mucus production with a cold, for example), genetics (narrow airways), and alcohol consumption.
What Are the Treatments for Snoring?
Treatments for snoring include the following lifestyle changes:
- Lose weight.
- Treat nasal congestion.
- Avoid sleeping on your back.
- Avoid alcohol near bedtime.
- Avoid sleep deprivation.
Individuals who have OSA (obstructive sleep apnea or reduced oxygen intake due to airway obstruction) may need additional treatments such as
- oral appliances to open the airway,
- CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure maintained by a mask and pressurized air), and
- upper airway surgery to open the upper airway.
Your doctor can help determine which OSA treatment is best for you.
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