Snoring

How Do I Reduce Snoring?

Definition

Snoring arises due to the vibration of respiratory structures. Obstructed air movement during sleeping leads to a characteristic sound which can be as loud as a vacuum cleaner! 

It affects up to 15 million of the UK population and is up to three times more common in men than women. 

Main Risk Factors for Snoring

  • Male
  • Age over 40
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use

Simple Measures to Alleviate Snoring

Reduce your Weight


Fat around the neck restricts your airway and can worsen snoring

 

Don’t Sleep on Your Back


By sleeping on your side you can reduce the risk of snoring. When you lie on your back, your tongue and any fatty tissue under the chin compress your airway.


Use of Snoring Aids


Mandibular advancement device – this is used when the tongue is obstructing the throat


Chin Strap – to keep the mouth closed and prevent snoring


Vestibular shield – worn within the mouth to help you breathe through the nose


Nasal strip or dilator – to maintain the nasal passageway and allow nasal breathing


Stop Smoking


The smoke from cigarettes can cause irritation within the lining of your nose and throat. This reduces the passage of air into the lungs and worsens snoring.


Reduce Alcohol


Alcohol has been linked with snoring by relaxing throat muscles


Reduce Nasal Congestion


If your nose is blocked, as is often the case with hayfever or other allergies, you are more likely to breathe through the mouth which can lead to snoring. Nasal steroid sprays or antihistamines may help prevent nasal congestion. Learn more about allergy treatment.

When To See Your GP

If you are worried about sleep apnoea, you should arrange to see your GP so they can refer you for special tests.

Sleep apnoea occurs when there is a relatively long delay between breaths at night. It is often associated with loud snoring. It comes about when the soft tissues and muscle in the throat relax. This leads to a total blockage of the airway for more than 10 seconds.  

The lack of oxygen to the brain stimulates the body which disturbs your normal sleep pattern and re-opens your airway to allow you to breathe more normally. This process is recurrent throughout the night and the lack of deep sleep leads to daytime tiredness.  

 

Surgery for Snoring

Surgery involves using a laser to remodel the tissue at the back of the throat which vibrates and can lead to snoring. This is called a laser-assisted uvula palatoplasty.

Occasionally a laser can also be utilised to improve the nasal passageways.

 

Article written by Dr S Noorpuri
Disclaimer: This article is solely for information purposes. It is not to replace a consultation with a qualified health professional. It should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. The article is based on the opinions of the author who retains copyright. You are advised to make your own health decisions based on your research and alongside a qualified health professional. Please consult a doctor if you have any health concerns.

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