Snoring may be a familiar companion, but what are the causes and more importantly, the cure? By understanding some of its basic features you may discover how to eliminate its presence, especially if it interferes with your sleep.
What Is Snoring?
Snoring is the sound produced during sleep by the vibration of the soft tissues in the upper airway, including the nose and throat. It typically happens when a breath is drawn in and then the tongue blocks the airway.
Snoring occurs in nearly everyone, in men – AND women. Women are more likely to snore after menopause.
What Are the Causes?
The most common cause of snoring is when the tongue muscle becomes too relaxed during sleep. When relaxed, it gets sucked back into the throat with each breath taken.
The throat then becomes obstructed which leads to difficulties moving air. As a result, the air moves turbulently through the airway and this causes the vibration and sound of snoring.
Alcohol is a muscle relaxant that can make snoring worse. In addition, medications that relax muscles (including sleep aids) may have a similar impact.
The Consequences of Snoring
Mild snoring may have little effect on the quality of your sleep.
When the tongue obstructs the airway breathing is compromised and the oxygen levels within the blood will drop. This leads to disrupted sleep.
Perhaps the biggest problem with snoring is the disruption of sleep of the non snoring bed partner. If / when snoring creates the need for special sleep arrangements, such as sleeping in the guest bedroom or on the couch, it may be time to treat your partner’s snoring.
Evaluation and Treatment of Snoring
As snoring is associated with several different health conditions, these may need to be ruled out to ensure that no other consequences occur.
The initial evaluation can be made with a visit to your dentist’s office. It is recommended that your bed partner go with you to provide details about their snoring and other sleep disruptions.
There are a range of over the counter and medical treatments to stop snoring, i.e., herbal remedies, throat sprays, chin straps or mouthpieces.
Others attempt to lose weight, eliminate alcohol or have surgery, with a tonsillectomy the most popular.
An effective and non invasive treatment is the aveoTSD device. This soft medical-grade silicone piece requires no impressions and has no moving parts. The aveoTSD directly suctions onto the end of the tongue that protects it from falling back into the throat which blocks the airway.
If your partner’s snoring keeps them and yourself up at night, it may be time for you to suggest that your partner seek a safe non invasive treatment to eliminate their snoring.