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What is Snoring: Causes and treatment

Although snoring is most often seen as an issue by the partners and family members of those who snore, it can be an issue for the snorer as well. We urge you to always consult a healthcare professional for proper treatment if you suspect that there might be some medical cause for snoring. Fortunately, snoring…

What causes snoring?

Simply put, snoring is a sound produced during your sleep as the flow of air is obstructed by your throat’s tissue. As a result, the snorer produces a harsh, often loud sound while they sleep. Snoring can be divided into different categories depending on where the snoring originates. 

Mouth snoring occurs when the snorer inhales through their open mouth rather than their nose. Nasal snoring, on the other hand, is caused by inhaling through the nose. Tongue snoring happens when the snorer’s tongue obstructs the airways because of the size of the tongue or sleeping on one’s back, for instance. The loudest type is throat snoring which may be indicative of sleep apnea.

Certain factors can make you more susceptible to snoring in your sleep. These include:

  • Use of alcohol and certain medications. All substances that cause your throat muscles to relax increase the risk of snoring. In addition to alcohol, some medications can have a similar sedative effect and lead to snoring.
  • Weight and body composition. Being overweight is one causing factor for snoring. Due to the extra tissue on the snorer’s neck caused by additional body fat, there is less room for air to pass through, leading to snoring.
  • Sleep position and posture. Certain sleep positions, such as sleeping on your back, can make snoring more pronounced as your tongue is more likely to obstruct the airways.
  • Medical conditions. The cause of snoring can be explained by a chronic medical condition as well. One cause of snoring that should be treated is a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea.

Even if you or your partner does not snore, you most likely know someone who does. Not surprisingly, snoring is quite common. In the US, approximately 57% of men and 40% of women snore. And it is not just adults who snore: Children are prone to snoring as well.

Look out for sleep apnea

As mentioned, the cause of snoring could be sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that requires treatment. In addition to loud snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is characterized by pauses in breathing that may occur several times every hour during sleep. 

The pause in breathing that is typical for sleep apnea sufferers is often followed by a loud and sudden gasp for air. However, the snorer may remain asleep during this. Remember that everyone who suffers from sleep apnea does not snore, just like all snorers do not have sleep apnea.

Treatment: How to Stop Snoring? 

Snoring in itself is not necessarily dangerous for the snorer, although medical conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea should be treated by a healthcare professional. In many cases, the biggest harm caused by snoring is not for the snorer but for the person sleeping with them instead. 

In case snoring is caused by something else than a sleep disorder or another condition requiring treatment, there are many non-invasive snoring remedies that can help with the symptoms.

Lose weight

As being overweight is one risk factor for snoring, a drop in the snorer’s body weight can help combat loud and disturbing snoring. Other healthy life choices can help improve your sleep and therefore reduce snoring, such as taking care of sufficient hydration, following a healthy diet, and staying active throughout the day.

Reduce nasal congestion

Snoring can be a result of a stuffy nose caused by an allergy, for instance. However, nasal congestion and blocked nostrils can be caused by the size and shape of a snorer’s nose as well. In this case, a nasal strip from the pharmacy can help.

Change your sleep position

As certain sleeping positions can be the cause of snoring or make it more pronounced, changing how you sleep can help. Using a large pillow or raising the head of the bed can adjust the snorer’s sleeping position just enough to prevent snoring. Sleeping on your side rather than your back can help to reduce snoring as well.

Other snoring remedies

Luckily for the snorer, there are many less extreme snoring remedies than sleep medicine or even surgery. If the snorer’s health is not at risk and the biggest sufferer of snoring is the person sleeping in the same bed or others in the household, there are other alternatives available. 

The QuietOn 3.1 noise-canceling earbuds are effective at blocking out not just snoring but other loud and distracting noises as well. If someone else’s snoring is keeping you awake and preventing a good night’s sleep, you can reduce snoring by blocking out the sound with QuietOn’s industry–leading active noise canceling (ANC) technology. The noise-canceling earbuds are small, easy to use, and comfortable to sleep with, making them a perfect companion for you and your snoring bed partner.