What makes someone more likely to snore?
Snoring is more common in men, older adults, and people who are overweight. You are more likely to snore after you drink alcohol or take medicines that make you drowsy or relaxed. Women are more likely to snore in the later stages of pregnancy. You are more likely to snore if you have a cold, stuffy nose, or throat problems, such as tonsillitis. A deviated septum can also cause snoring. The septum is in the middle of the nose and divides your nostrils. A septum that is deviated is not in the correct place.
How is snoring diagnosed?
Your caregiver will examine you and ask about your sleep pattern and snoring. You may need a sleep study. This is an overnight test that checks for problems with breathing while you sleep.
How can I manage my snoring?
- Change your sleep position: Try a different sleep position, such as lying on your side. This may help decrease snoring.
- Use a dental device: You may need to use a dental device while you sleep. It is similar to a retainer or mouth guard. The device helps keep your airway open while you sleep. Ask your caregiver or dentist about a dental device.
- Do not drink alcohol or take medicines that make you drowsy: This can increase your snoring.
- Lose weight: This will help decrease or stop your snoring. Ask your caregiver if you need to lose weight and how much you should lose. Ask for help with a weight loss program.
- Get plenty of exercise: Talk to your caregiver about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise can help you lose weight, decrease your blood pressure, and improve your health.
What are the risks of snoring?
You may be tired during the day because you do not rest well while you sleep. You may get headaches or feel depressed because of the lack of sleep. Snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). This is when you stop breathing for at least 10 seconds, 5 or more times in 1 hour. You may also have OSAS if you stop breathing at least 30 times during a 6-hour sleep period. OSAS can cause high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, or a stroke.
How are breathing problems related to snoring treated?
You may need the following if snoring causes you to stop breathing:
- CPAP: This is a machine that keeps your airway open while you sleep. You wear a mask over your nose or over your nose and mouth. The mask is held in place by elastic straps that go around your head. The mask is hooked to the CPAP machine. The machine blows a gentle stream of air into the mask. This helps keep your airway open so you can breathe more regularly. Extra oxygen can also be given through the machine.
- Surgery: You may need nose or throat surgery if you have trouble breathing due to your snoring. Ask your caregiver for more information about surgery.
When should I contact my caregiver?
Contact your caregiver if:
- You wake up often during the night.
- You feel more tired than normal.
- You have frequent headaches or feel depressed.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
When should I seek immediate care?
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have chest pain.
- You have new shortness of breath.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.