Snoring is caused by soft tissues in the back of the throat being pushed together, causing them to vibrate when the snorer breaths. There are two main causes for these vibrations:
Restriction: Extra fat around the throat can put pressure on the airway, while throat irritation and sinus obstructions from allergies and colds can block them. Sometimes when the snorer lies on his or her back, the tongue can flop back into the airway. Stress can cause the muscles in the jaw to tense, causing it to misalign.
Relaxation: Alcohol and muscle relaxants can cause the throat muscles to close, while smoking weakens these muscles.
Snoring can be a very serious matter. Most of the causes of snoring involve a reduction of airflow, which can also result in poor sleep or sleep apnea. Snorers are also much more likely to have heart attacks or strokes. Since snoring is often caused by mouth-related problems, these are often handled by dentists who specialize in sleep apnea.
Cutting down on alcohol and cigarettes will help, as will losing weight and reducing stress.
The most common treatment is with a mandibular advancement splint. This device looks like a mouth guard with a tab that the lower jaw rests on. This pulls up the jaw and tongue, creating a clear airway. These are available over the counter, or can be custom-made.
Sleeping on your side will reduce snoring. Taping a tennis ball to the back of your shirt will keep you from lying on your back.
Blocked sinuses can be opened with nasal strips.
Anti-snoring sprays lubricate the airway, reducing friction.
Sleeping on a wedge-shaped pillow will put the torso at an angle that will help keep airways open. These are commonly used to treat nighttime heartburn, since this position also reduces acid reflux.
In severe cases, snoring can be treated by a surgery known as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. Throat tissue is cut away, expanding the opening.
Posted 4636 day ago