Snoring is caused by the vibration of soft tissue in a narrowed upper airway when breathing occurs. In general, as patients age, snoring levels increase. Tissue changes not only occur externally as we age but internally as well throughout the airway passage.
Both men and women snore. In younger groups, it is more common for men to snore but during pregnancy or after menopause the rate of women snoring increases. The predisposition to snoring runs in families because certain hereditary jaw and airway features make some individuals high risk for snoring and breathing disorders. Increased weight leads to more tissue in the airway and a higher chance of snoring as well.
If you are snoring and medical diseases-conditions including apnea have been ruled out, most medical professionals trained in sleep disorders would recommend the following:
- Weight loss if indicated
- Lifestyle changes: smoking and alcoholic beverages cessation, etc
- Positional changes during sleep: sleeping on a side with help of positional sleep positioning aid
- CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device)- rarely prescribed for apnea -free individuals. Some individuals who are diagnosed just under the baseline for an apnea diagnosis may have poor sleep quality or daytime energy to upper airways snoring events)
- Professional oral appliance therapy: the use of custom-made mouth retainers that change the position of your jaw during sleep
- Surgery- There are several types of surgeries available with varying degrees of success