Snoring is a common type of sleep disordered breathing. Although it is mostly a nuisance, it may be a sign of sleep apnea, which can be dangerous. Even if it is only a nuisance, it is a serious one that reduces the quality of your sleep and your partner’s, and can significantly damage your relationship.
If you are tired of your sleeping or your partner’s sleeping, we can help. Dr. Roger Roubal is the foremost expert on snoring and sleep apnea in the region, and he can recommend an appropriate treatment. Please call (402) 493-4175 or email Dr. Roubal for an appointment.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is caused by a narrowed airway during sleep. When you are awake, your airway is held open by gravity and by your muscles, but when you sleep, gravity pulls down on your airway and your muscles relax. Your jaw becomes the main support for the tissues in your throat. When your airway narrows, the air flowing through it becomes turbulent. Think of the water coming out of a hose when you partly block the opening with your thumb. This turbulence causes your throat to vibrate, which is the sound of snoring.
Snoring can be due simply to your anatomy, or it can be caused by many factors including:
- Being overweight
- Drinking alcohol before bed
- Allergies and infections
- Sleeping on your back
- Poor bite
Men are more likely to be snorers than women, but women can also be snorers. Snoring also tends to worsen with age.
Sometimes snoring is temporary or seasonal, but it can often be a chronic health problem.
Is It Sleep Apnea?
Snorers are at an elevated risk for sleep apnea, a potentially deadly health condition. If you are a snorer and wake up feeling unrested, are tired during the day, suffer mood disorders, or morning headaches, you should be tested for sleep apnea.
Even if you don’t have sleep apnea, snoring tends to reduce your blood oxygen levels, resulting in less restful sleep.
If your snoring is not associated with sleep apnea, we will recommend appropriate snoring treatment. This may include lifestyle modifications like changing eating or drinking habits.
We may also recommend an oral appliance designed to reposition your jaw so it holds your airway open, preventing snoring.