What is Chronic Snoring?
Loud breathing during sleep that sounds unpleasant is known as snoring. If you snore during most nights, even when you're feeling good and aren't facing any allergy symptoms, you are likely experiencing chronic snoring. Believe it or not, chronic snoring is a common condition that affects about 45% of adult men and 30% of adult women.
In addition to being distracting, chronic snoring leads to a variety of health problems. It can cause daytime fatigue, sudden awakenings at night, dry mouth in the morning, wheezing or coughing during the night, and even dental cavities.
Causes of Chronic Snoring
Snoring occurs when your upper airway narrows or your nasal breathing is blocked. The muscles and soft tissues in your throat relax and lead to a smaller airway diameter. This creates noise when breath makes its way into or out of your airway. Whenever your soft tissues are enlarged or relaxed, you're likely to snore.
Although anyone is at risk for chronic snoring, this condition is more common in men and women who are obese, pregnant, or older. It may also be a side effect of some medications or the result of nasal congestion from allergies or a nasal deformity such as a deviated septum.
Treating Chronic Snoring
The good news is that there are several ways you can treat chronic snoring. Lifestyle changes like diet and exercise to lose weight, sleeping on the side instead of the back, and refraining from alcohol consumption a few hours before bed can all help. If these lifestyle changes prove to be ineffective, you can try anti-snoring pillows, nasal strips, air purifiers, and nasal decongestants.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP therapy can may also be a viable treatment if your snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea. CPAP therapy involves a machine that produces air pressure through a mask on the nose and mouth. The pressure can keep your airway from collapsing and prevent storing as a result.
In the event lifestyle changes and other conservative measures don't help, there are several surgeries that can be performed to treat your snoring. A septoplasty, for example, can be performed to realign your septum and improve airflow in your nose. Another option is a tonsillectomy to remove tonsils, which can impair your breathing and lead to snoring if they become enlarged.
If you are living with chronic snoring, a doctor can help you design an appropriate treatment plan.