Snoring is the loud, harsh sound you hear when the soft palate, uvula and other airway structures vibrate against the back of the throat or base of the tongue.
As you fall asleep your airway tends to narrow due to muscle relaxation. The narrower the airway, the more likely there will be greater levels of vibration and subsequently more significant snoring sounds. Small airways during sleep are associated with large tongues, soft palate tissues that are broad and floppy and muscle relaxation in the pharyngeal (throat) tissues. As a result, airflow resistance increases giving rise to snoring sounds that can be low level or in the range of normal conversation.
Unfortunately, your own snoring sounds can prevent you from sleeping restfully. The arousals that loud snoring can generate may lead to daily fatigue and general irritability. Not only does snoring impact the quality of your own sleep, but that of your bed partner as well (usually resulting in your partner being the one to look for a stop snoring remedy).
Can you imagine trying to get to sleep if your bed partner is talking to you in a normal conversational voice? Well, this is what many of our patients report, and the snoring volume of their bed partner increases during times of weight gain, and alcohol consumption near the bedtime hours.
Though snoring is unquestionably a social problem keeping countless bed partners awake, it can at times indicate that a more serious medical problem called Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is present. As a result, overnight sleep studies are suggested to determine if your snoring is associated with this medical problem that can lead to daytime sleepiness, irritability, and an increased risk for a heart attack or stroke. If your snoring is associated with an (OSA) condition, it is time to stop the snoring.
Snoring treatments may include weight loss if this is a necessary and achievable option. Otherwise, depending on where the source of the snoring is located (nose, soft palate, uvula, base of tongue) snoring treatment options can be chosen and at times used together. The use of nose expansion devices like Breathe Right® Strips can provide benefit if the nasal passages are an issue. Nightly use of nasal irrigation products may also be beneficial as a snoring remedy. Surgical options can also be discussed.
Over the last fifteen years the use of oral appliances to treat a snoring disorder has proved to be extremely effective. At times these devices, according to our patients, have “cured their partners snoring”. These oral appliances are most successful and can stop the snoring if custom fit by a dentist and adjusted over time. These oral appliances are unquestionably a great snoring remedy.
If your snoring is becoming a problem, let us see what we can do. Snoring, as you know, is certainly not sexy! Contact my NYC or Long Island office today.