Snoring is a sound that is caused by vibrations in the throat which make a loud buzzing sound. So, how common is snoring? Everyone has the ability to snore. Sometimes people who are not regular snorers will snore after consuming alcohol, after taking certain medications, or after getting over a viral infection. Snoring can be difficult for you to live with, as well as your bedmate or sleeping partner. Snoring can disrupt sleep, making you more sleepy and irritable during the day, and making it difficult for you to function at home, work, or school.
When we sleep, we go through several stages of sleep. The two major stages are rapid eye movement and non-rapid eye movement. Snoring is most common in REM sleep. During this stage of sleep, the brain sends a message to all your muscles that it is now time to relax. However, your tongue and your throat may collapse during relaxation and cause the airway to become skinnier which in turn causes snoring.
You may be wondering why snoring is such a problem. Sometimes snoring can be an underlying cause of a more serious condition. If you snore, you can be prone to other conditions, such as sleep apnea. More importantly, however, if snoring is not due to a medical problem, it actually can become a serious source of marital problems. You are sleeping so you probably do not hear yourself snore but your bed partner may lie awake at night just listening to you snore loudly. In order to rectify the problem, many couples sleep in separate bedrooms. This can cause a strain on the marriage.
There are several courses of treatment for snoring. Surgery is sometimes an option but it is the last option that a medical professional will use. A behavioral change is a course of treatment that is usually the easiest to deal with but it also may be the hardest one to accomplish. Behavioral adjustments include losing weight, sleeping in a different position, changing medications, as well as quitting smoking and/or drinking alcohol.
If your doctor diagnoses you with a narrow nasal passage, there are a few ways to open up your nasal passage. There are strips that are sold over-the-counter that lift up and open your nasal passage. Nasal sprays that clear out and moisturize your nasal passage are also sold over-the-counter. Something as simple as a hot shower before bedtime may also be effective in opening your nasal airway.
There are surgical options that are sometimes used as a treatment for snoring. Surgery focuses on your nose, palate and tongue. Most of the procedures can be done in your doctor’s office. Before considering surgery as an option, you may want to check with your health insurance provider to see which medical conditions are covered under your current plan.
As you can see, there are several treatments available to help you with your snoring condition. You and your doctor can determine which options are the best for you.