Many of us experience worse snoring during the winter, when our heating is filling the house with hot, dry air (not to mention dust). If this is you, you might think that a humidifier would be a good solution to try to control your snoring.
It’s possible that a humidifier could help, and it’s something to try along with other home remedies for snoring, but it’s unlikely to be the solution you’re looking for.
How a Humidifier Can Help with Snoring
Snoring isn’t usually associated with dry tissues in either your nose or throat. It’s more likely to be a cause of dry mouth or throat than the effect of dry air. But there are some ways that snoring can be increased by dry air.
Dry air is more likely to be full of dust and other allergens. Humidifiers add moisture to the air which keeps allergens stuck to the ground or other surfaces in the house. They also act as air filters, taking out some of the allergens that would otherwise be in the air.
It’s also possible that dryness stimulates your body to produce more mucous, which can lead to nasal congestion.
And if the tissues of your nose and throat get irritated, they can become inflamed, which will make narrow airways even more constricted. Constricted airways are the chief cause of snoring, so dry air could make snoring worse.
Why a Humidifier Won’t Cure Snoring
With all that said, if you’re having difficulty with dry air in your home, including other problems such as dry, cracking skin, there’s no reason not to try a humidifier. But you shouldn’t really expect it to cure your snoring, because snoring isn’t really caused by dryness.
The human body is designed to humidify the air as you breathe it in. That’s an essential function of your nose, and why it has all the winding passages that control the flow of air. The adaptation is successful from southern deserts to the northern arctic reaches. Dry air is not a major cause of snoring.
Instead, snoring occurs when our naturally open airway closes. This may be for developmental reasons (for example, less chewing of tough foods means less jaw development and the presence of a retrograde jaw), or it may be related to lifestyle and health factors (such as smoking, which irritates the throat, or weight gain, which presses the airway closed).
If you are really looking for an effective snoring treatment that can open your airway, and to learn whether your snoring is a warning of potentially deadly sleep apnea, please call (402) 493-4175 for an appointment with an Omaha sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.