Snoring presents several problems. Not only is it disruptive to you and your partner, but it can also be a sign of a serious health risk. Because snoring is quite common, there are plenty of myths and old wife’s tales on ways to prevent snoring. Fortunately, there is also plenty of reliable information available as well. Here is what you need to know:
The Myths of Snoring Solutions and Causes
You’ve probably heard a lot of these myths but, if you haven’t, you should at least be aware.
“Snoring is a normal part of aging.”
While it’s true that snoring is more prevalent among the older population, age is not the direct cause.
“There’s only one cause for snoring.”
In many cases, snoring is actually a symptom of another problem and not a standalone issue.
“You don’t have to go to the doctor.”
This is simply not true. In most cases, you will need a medical professional to help you identify the exact problem.
“Only men snore.”
While snoring is more common in men, it can certainly occur in women.
Real Causes of Snoring
Snoring occurs when the air you breathe causes the muscles in your throat to vibrate, thus producing snoring sounds. However, snoring is often a byproduct of another problem, so there are several potential causes. Anatomy: Some causes of snoring are anatomical. These can include a deviated septum, enlarged tonsils, or even nasal polyps. Increased Weight: Being overweight means that you have more tissue around your neck and throat area, which leads to a higher chance that airflow will be disturbed. Alcohol and Certain Medications: Excessive consumption of alcohol or certain medications can relax the muscles around your throat and your tongue, which can lead to snoring. Allergies: Certain allergies can cause the throat to become irritated and swell, which can lead to snoring Dehydration: Dry mouth and nasal passages can also cause nighttime breathing to become a loud activity. Illness: Certain illnesses, including infection, can cause inflammation and constriction of the throat. Sleep Deprivation: Ironically, sleep deprivation can make you more likely to snore. This is because you sleep more deeply when you are tired.
How to Prevent Snoring
If you’re wondering how to not snore, there are various snoring solutions–some as simple as making lifestyle changes– while others are specific products that can help with snoring. Here are some of the most common and effective ways to stop snoring while you sleep:
Certain lifestyle changes can decrease or even eliminate snoring. However, it is still recommended that you see a medical professional to rule out more serious causes of snoring. Sleep on your side. Gravity will work with you and help avoid snoring if you are sleeping on your side. Avoid certain medications and excessive alcohol consumption. If you suspect that a medication prescribed to you is leading to snoring, do not stop the medication, but speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Exercise helps you lose weight and strengthen your throat muscles, which decreases snoring.
Non-Medical Anti-Snoring Products
In addition to lifestyle changes, there are several snoring remedies on the market that you can use either while you’re waiting to see a doctor or as you make lifestyle changes. If you’re wondering how to stop snoring immediately, these will also provide rapid relief. These can all be obtained over the counter and do not require a prescription.
If you live in a dry climate, you’ll want to invest in a humidifier to help increase the moisture in your room. Moist air won’t dry out your nasal passages and will help you avoid the rattling snoring sound.
If allergies are the cause of your snoring, an air purifier with a HEPA filter will help. Some great air purifiers include Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Allergen Remover, GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System, and LEVOIT HEPA Air Purifier
There are two types of anti-snoring mouthpieces; the mandibular advancement device (MAD) and the tongue retaining device (TRD). A MAD like VitalSleep physically moves the lower jaw forward. Meanwhile, the TRD like the Good Morning Snore Solution keeps your tongue from obstructing your throat.
Nasal vents like SnoreCare Nose Vents open up the nostrils and ensure that you are breathing well throughout the night. They look a little like earplugs and may take some getting used to, but they can help you stop snoring. For more options, check out NoseVent Anti-Snoring Vents, Snorepin Nasal Vents, and SnoreRx Anti-Snoring nasal dilator.
Anti-Snoring Nasal Strips
These go on your nose and open up your nasal passages in order to allow air to pass through unobstructed. If your snoring is due to a temporary condition such as pregnancy, these may be a great alternative. Some great products in this category are Breathe Right Extra Clear Nasal Strips, Stuffy Nose Strips, MQ Better Breathe Nasal Strips, and Sequoia Health Breathe-Ability Nasal Strips.
Over the Counter Nasal Decongestants
If your snoring is secondary to infection or allergies, an over-the-counter decongestant like Claritin may help stop snoring sounds.
Anti-Snoring Wedge Pillows
If you can’t seem to sleep on your side, consider getting a pillow that can help you keep your nasal passages open and prevent snoring. Some great anti-snoring pillows are Celliant Sleep Therapeutic Wellness Anti Snore Memory Foam Pillo and InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow.
Medical Treatment for Snoring
In some cases, you may need a medical solution for your snoring. This is especially the case when you have a condition like Sleep Apnea.
CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, blows air into your lungs. These devices help ensure that you are breathing throughout the night. In order to qualify for a CPAP, you’ll need a prescription from a doctor, and, in many cases, you’ll need to do a sleep study to determine whether or not CPAP is the best choice for your specific condition. Some of the most popular CPAP machines on the market include AirSense 10 by ResMed, Deamstation Auto by Phillips Respironics, and Icon Novo by Fisher&Paykel.
In some cases, surgical intervention may be the best way to stop snoring. For most patients, surgery is the last result, and the decision to proceed with surgery should be made by doctor and patient.
When to Visit the Doctor
If snoring has become a problem, you’ll want to see your doctor to rule out obstructive sleep apnea (or OSA). The disease can seriously disrupt your sleep and is associated with other conditions, such as high blood pressure, obesity, and even ocular problems such as floppy eyelid syndrome.