Snoring is a common issue that can disrupt sleep quality and impact both the snorer and their bed partner. It occurs when the flow of air through the mouth and nose is partially blocked during sleep, causing the tissues in the throat to vibrate and produce the characteristic snoring sound. While occasional snoring is often harmless, chronic and loud snoring may be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Here at Sleep Better Sarasota, we treat both sleep apnea and snoring. Take time to understand snoring and learn more about what treatment options exist.
Snoring is a very common sleep-related issue that can affect individuals of all ages and genders. While snoring is impactful on its own, it can also be a symptom of an underlying sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Understanding the causation of snoring can help to identify risk factors and guide appropriate treatment options to get you back to sleeping well.
Snoring can be caused by various factors, including:
Making certain lifestyle changes can help reduce snoring. These include maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and adopting good sleep hygiene practices, such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule and sleeping on your side instead of your back.
For individuals who predominantly snore when sleeping on their back, positional therapy can be beneficial. Techniques like using specialized pillows or wearing devices that discourage sleeping on the back can help promote side-sleeping and reduce snoring.
If snoring is caused by nasal congestion, using nasal sprays or strips, or employing saline rinses, can help alleviate congestion and improve airflow.
Oral appliances, such as mandibular advancement devices, can be prescribed by a dentist or sleep specialist to reposition the jaw and tongue, opening up the airway and reducing snoring.
CPAP therapy, commonly used for sleep apnea treatment, can also effectively treat snoring. The machine delivers a constant stream of air pressure through a mask, keeping the airway open during sleep.
It’s important to consult with a dentist or sleep specialist to determine the underlying cause of snoring and to receive appropriate guidance on the most suitable treatment options. By addressing snoring, you can enhance sleep quality and promote better overall well-being.
Please note that this section provides general information on snoring and its treatments. Specific recommendations and treatment options may vary depending on individual circumstances and anatomical needs.
Oral devices are commonly used to treat snoring caused by the narrowing or partial collapse of the upper airway during sleep. These custom-fitted devices are designed to be worn in the mouth while sleeping and work by repositioning the jaw, tongue, and soft tissues to help maintain an open and unobstructed airway.
Oral devices work by advancing the lower jaw (mandible) slightly forward, which helps prevent the tongue and soft tissues from obstructing the airway. By keeping the airway open, these devices promote smoother airflow during sleep, reducing or eliminating snoring.
To obtain an oral device, it’s essential to consult with a dentist or a sleep specialist who specializes in dental sleep medicine. The process typically involves the following steps:
It is crucial to work with a qualified dentist or sleep specialist experienced in dental sleep medicine to ensure proper evaluation, fitting, and ongoing care of the oral device. Regular follow-up visits are necessary to monitor the effectiveness of the oral device and make any necessary adjustments. It’s important to wear the device consistently as recommended and maintain good oral hygiene to ensure its longevity and effectiveness.
While oral devices can be effective in reducing snoring, they may not be suitable for everyone. In cases of severe snoring or underlying sleep apnea, alternative treatments such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or surgery may be more appropriate.
Consulting with a healthcare professional or sleep specialist will help determine the most suitable treatment option for your specific situation.