Snoring is often considered a social nuisance. More importantly, snoring can affect the quality of life of the individual who is snoring and their bed partner.

What causes snoring?

During snoring:

  • Muscles and soft tissue in the back of the throat relax, narrowing the airway
  • While a breath is being taken, the air is forced through the narrowed passage, causing vibrations of the soft tissues known as snoring
  • In some individuals, these vibrations or snoring sounds can self awaken the person snoring  
  • In other situations, the snoring individual may feel they are sleeping well, but disruptions to bed partners may result
  • These disruptions can not only cause havoc and relationship strains, but research has shown the health of a snorer’s bed partner can be impacted

Snoring can also be a symptom of a more serious sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

If OSA is left untreated or treated inadequately, apnea can lead to severe health problems and a lowered quality of life.

During OSA, the airway obstruction has progressed to limited breathing airflow resulting in oxygen dips in the blood and organs. 

These repeated breathing dips that are associated with partially or fully blocked airways can create major disruptions to health and well-being.

Habitual snoring should be medically evaluated. 

Depending on the diagnosis obtained, recommended  snoring treatments may include the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Cessation of smoking/alcohol
  • Surgery– several types
  • Oral Appliance Therapy (custom dental devices)
  • Positional Therapy
  • Evaluation of other medical conditions or medication side effects

There are several types of sleep-snoring evaluation processes to test if you have apnea:

  • An overnight stay at a sleep testing facility
    • This type of study is usually performed at a facility within a room that looks like a hotel room
    • A polysomnogram uses sensors to various parts of your body, recording brain waves, heartbeat, breathing, and movements
    • It is considered the gold standard of sleep diagnosis.
  • A home sleep test unit is used in your home 
    • Although not as detailed as a sleep lab test, this type of testing is being prescribed more commonly than in the past years.
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