While it’s normal to snore during your sleep, chronic snoring can point to deeper problems in your overall health. Snoring can arise due to many factors, but it generally worsens as you grow older. Besides being a nuisance to your spouse or bed partner, chronic snoring can significantly alter sleep quality and pattern.
Read on to discover more about snoring and how to tell if you need medical intervention for your snoring problem.
The primary reason why people snore is because of airflow disruptions in their mouth or nasal passages. The narrowing of air passages in the mouth and nostril passages can arise due to blockage or inflammation of the passages due to illness. As the air attempts to force its way in or out of the nasal pathways, it puts immense pressure on the soft tissues lining the throat, mouth, and nasal pathways. This unusual pressure causes the soft tissues to collide, leading to the production of rumbling and rattling sounds.
Common causes of nasal blockage
Breathing entails channeling air through narrow pathways connecting your mouth, throat, and nostrils. If there’s an obstruction, the soft palates at the rear end of the mouth vibrate vigorously, producing an annoying rumbling sound. The blockage of air pathways can arise from multiple factors, some of which include:
Inflammation of the air passages due to sinus infections such as flu is one of the leading factors of snoring complications. Besides snoring, sinus infections often lead to sore throats, runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. Normally, the snoring will go away after taking sinus-clearing medications.
- Drugs and alcohol consumption
Sedative use and alcohol consumption can relax and loosen the muscles of your tongue, mouth, and throat, making them susceptible to vibration. This unusual relaxation causes these muscles to bump into one another as you breathe.
- Poor sleeping positions
Sometimes, snoring may have little to do with illness, blockage, or air passages. Awkward sleeping positions can put pressure on your throat and nasal palates leading to rumbling sounds as you sleep. Using overly large or soft pillows and sleeping on your back are some of the habits that cause snoring. Throat and nasal soft palate relaxation can also arise if you suffer from sleep deprivation.
Snoring is a common problem among the obese and overweight. The accumulation of excess fat reserves around the soft tissue palates in the throat, mouth, and nose leads to compression of these passages, thus increasing the risk of snoring.
- Other causes
Hormonal shifts during pregnancy can also promote the inflammation of soft nasal palates leading to snoring. People with enlarged tonsils and bulky tongue tissues are also likely to develop snoring as they sleep.
When to see a doctor
Snoring can indicate severe underlying conditions that could be dangerous if left untreated. Sleep apnea is one such condition that often manifests in chronic snoring. You should visit a snoring dentist if your snoring habits interfere with your sleep quality. If neglected; acute snoring associated with sleep apnea can lead to the following outcomes:
- Acute sleeping disorders
Sometimes, snoring creates breathing difficulties, leading to a poor night sleep filled with tossing and turning and an inability to transition from light sleep to deep sleep. This disruption of sleep patterns can make you irritable and lower your productivity levels at work.
- High blood pressure and stroke
Long-term obstruction of your air passages can strain your heart leading to stroke and high blood pressure. The constriction of air pathways causes the heart to struggle to supply oxygen-rich blood to critical body organs.
Treatment and prevention of snoring complications
Chronic snoring is treatable through various treatments, including surgery and medications. If snoring is due to flu and sinus infections, your snoring dentist may recommend nasal strips or allergy medications to open up the air passages.
Sometimes, a lifestyle change that includes switching sleeping positions and avoiding alcohol intake before bedtime could be all you need to alleviate snoring complications. Your palates may require removal or shrinking through surgery to alleviate the snoring problem if all else fails. Septoplasty and radiofrequency ablation are common examples of surgical treatments for the condition. Visit the site below to learn more about diagnosis, treatment, and snoring prevention.