Anyone can snore, depending on their sleep position. But not a lot of people have a chronic issue with this noisy problem.
Four of every 10 men are chronic snorers, while a little over two of every 10 women have the same issue. Snoring doesn’t always mean you have obstructive sleep apnea, which is a common nighttime breathing disorder. However, those with the condition are generally heavy snorers.
If you have anatomical conditions that contribute to your snoring, there are surgical solutions that can help. Dr. Alexis Furze MD, FACS, and our team specialize in procedures that treat snoring and sleep apnea caused by these issues. But in all cases, treatment starts conservatively, including lifestyle modifications that you may be able to incorporate yourself.
Origins of snoring sounds
Sound starts with vibration, and snoring is no exception. Usually, snoring originates with the muscles and tissue in the back of your mouth and throat. When you relax and fall asleep, these tissues collapse enough to partially block your airways. When they’re close enough to vibrate with the passage of air, snoring starts, generated in the same way as your vocal cords form sound.
Snoring may not be a health issue if you still get enough air to breathe and the noise isn’t loud enough to disturb your sleep or that of those near you. However, when the air becomes restricted enough to cause obstructive sleep apnea, you may be partially waking through the night to restart interrupted breathing, preventing a normal restful and restorative sleep cycle. This can contribute to other serious health issues.
Lifestyle changes that reduce snoring
When you consult Dr. Furze about a snoring issue, he’ll review your medical history and ask questions about your lifestyle and sleep habits. Some potential snoring solutions are basic and safe, and you can try these even before contacting Dr. Furze. Some of the most effective lifestyle changes to counter chronic snoring include those listed below.
Extra tissue accumulating in the throat and neck can aggravate the blockages causing snoring. By reducing your body mass, you’ll also open your airways, and it could be enough to reduce snoring or eliminate sleep apnea.
Change sleep position
Sleeping on your back aggravates snoring. Try strategies that encourage side sleeping. Raising the head of the bed by about four inches is also effective for some people.
Reduce alcohol intake
Drinking alcohol impacts your central nervous system, and if you drink too close to bedtime, your throat muscles could relax more than they would otherwise. The more these muscles relax, the worse your snoring could potentially become.
Reduce tobacco use
As well as the myriad of other health benefits you’ll enjoy, you may also be less likely to snore if you quit smoking.
A stuffy nose from allergies or a cold can aggravate snoring. Decongestants designed for nighttime use may help you avoid mouth breathing, increasing your risk of snoring.
Quality sleep is one of the best ways to ensure good health. When snoring compromises your restful time, and when your attempts to make changes aren’t sufficient, contact Dr. Furze’s Newport Beach office at 949-205-7745 to schedule your consultation.
Dr. Furze is excited to add the Elevo® snoring intervention set, a snoring intervention treatment that’s minimally invasive and performed in-office.
Elevo takes the unique approach of lifting and stiffening the soft palate, improving airflow through your throat during sleep. This helps prevent the collapse of the soft palate, a key contributor to snoring and sleep apnea. There’s no need for surgery, and the procedure uses local anesthesia.
Are you tired of tossing and turning all night? Contact our office today to learn whether you’re a candidate for the Elevo system.