Snoring is a common condition that affects millions of people in the United States alone. For many people, it is an occasional minor annoyance, but not a serious concern. For others, snoring has a significant impact on both sleep and health. There are several questions we often hear regarding snoring. Here are some of the most common:
What causes snoring?
Snoring is the sound produced during sleep when soft tissues in your upper airway vibrate as you breathe. Obesity, large tonsils or tongue, small jaw, nasal obstruction, alcohol use, smoking, and sleep apnea can all cause or intensify snoring.
Is snoring normal?
Regular snoring that is not disruptive to your sleep and not related to other conditions such as sleep apnea are not considered to be a serious health risk. To be certain whether your snoring may indicate a more serious condition, call to set up a consultation with Dr. Werleman. We can help.
Are there daytime symptoms of snoring?
Severe snoring may cause interruptions in your sleep. If you are drowsy during the day, fall asleep during quiet activity, or often wake feeling so exhausted that it seems you didn’t sleep at all, your snoring may indicate a serious problem like Sleep Apnea. Call for a consultation.
What increases the risk of snoring?
Obesity, alcohol, sedatives, smoking, sleeping on your back, and nasal obstruction all increase your risk of snoring.
Is snoring negatively affecting my bedpartner?
Loud snoring may affect your bedpartner in many of the same ways it affects you: disrupted sleep, daytime tiredness, and mood swings or irritability are all common for those who snore or sleep beside someone who does.
Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring is a sound resulting from turbulent airflow. Airflow becomes turbulent when the area at the back of the throat becomes obstructed, narrowed or crowded during sleep. Air passing through this smaller opening causes the surrounding tissues to vibrate, which in turn can cause the sounds of snoring. All snoring indicates the presence of obstruction at one or more locations in the airway.
Habitual loud breathing sounds or snoring while asleep without episodes of apnea (cessation of breath), significant reduction in oxygen levels or frequently disturbed sleep. Primary snoring can only be diagnosed by undergoing a sleep study interpreted by a qualified physician. It is absolutely necessary to rule out obstructive sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.
The goals for the treatment of Primary Snoring may be difficult to determine. Primary snoring may not be a medical problem, but it can become a significant social problem for the snorer and sleep problem for the bed partner. Therefore, successful treatment should also include the goal of achieving a successful night’s sleep for the bed partner or roommate.
Snoring is a common warning sign for obstructive sleep apnea. Prior to treatment, you should be diagnosed by a board-certified sleep medicine physician. If you have snoring without sleep apnea, your doctor should give you a prescription for an oral sleep appliance. If you have sleep apnea, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you.