Close to half of the people in the United States snore to some degree. Snoring occurs when there’s improper airflow through your throat while you’re sleeping. The relaxed tissue in your throat then vibrates, which results in a snoring sound. Sometimes, snoring is so severe that it can wake you up at night. It can also wake up other people in your home, which is usually how you know you snore in the first place. Although it might not seem like a big deal, snoring can be indicative of a more severe health problem. Seeing an ENT specialist is a quick and easy way to determine your snoring habits and how you can manage them. Additionally, here are some positive steps you can take at home.
One way to decrease snoring is losing weight. As you begin losing weight, you will lessen the pressure on your throat and chest, which can make it easier for air to flow. Try changing your diet or getting more exercise into your daily routine as a few easy ways to begin losing weight.
Instead of sleeping on your back, try changing the position of how you sleep. If you can successfully sleep on your side, you can help airflow through your throat. If you can’t successfully sleep on your side, then try sleeping with your head elevated to keep your throat open and allow for airflow.
Nasal strips can be helpful in improving air flow through your nose. They are usually reinforced, adhesive strips that are applied to the outside of the nose to keep the nasal passages open. This can, in turn, help air get through to your throat.
Sometimes, a cold or other respiratory illness can cause snoring. Managing congestion in your nose or throat with medications can often help reduce snoring when you’re sick. You can also adjust the humidity levels in the room you sleep in so that there’s more moisture. When the nasal passages are dry, this can lead to an increase in snoring.
Sometimes, the structure of your nose can prevent proper airflow, resulting in snoring. This might be unnoticeable and will have to be assessed by your ENT specialist. When the septum isn’t aligned properly, then it can push on one side of your nose more than the other, restricting airflow. This issue can usually be corrected with a simple surgical procedure and can reduce snoring after recovery.
If you notice that you’re waking up at night because of snoring, then consider talking to your doctor about a CPAP. You’ll wear a mask that forces air through your nose, which can then prevent your airway from closing at night. This is often used to treat sleep apnea. Additionally, a mouth guard worn over your teeth can sometimes help keep your throat in the right position. Your ENT specialist can help you pick the right option.