Why do people snore?
In general, your airway becomes narrower, and this results in an inability to breathe smoothly. As with sleep apnea, the treatments can vary wildly. Sometimes just changing your position in bed is enough, elevating the head, or losing some weight can relieve it.
How to Stop Snoring
First off, a change of position when you sleep can help. Snoring often occurs when you lie on your back. So, try to sleep on your side or stomach. If that’s not an option, maybe just a thicker pillow (or more pillows) to elevate your head will do the trick. Avoid a soft pillow; a firm one will get the proper elevation to your head. With a soft pillow, your throat will relax and this leads to a narrowing of the airways. Also, following a regular sleep routine can help.
Next, there are the things you eat and drink. You want to avoid things that tend to relax your muscles. So, don’t drink alcohol, take drugs, or any medications like sleeping pills or antihistamines. As your muscles relax, your airways become restricted, and this leads to snoring. Smoking is yet another contributing factor. The hot smoke causes swelling and inflammation of the airways, and this too constricts them.
Then there are foods to avoid, or to eat. First off, don’t eat a large meal close to bedtime; a full stomach will press against your diaphragm, and this too will constrict your airways. Also, dairy products cause the build-up of mucus in your breathing passages, and this too leads to snoring.
Then there are foods like pizza, chocolate, cakes and cookies; they’re very rich in calories, and they also contribute to snoring. One food that has been found to help reduce snoring is honey. A small dose before bed can help. It’s thought that it asks as a natural antihistamine, and thus clears the airways. In addition, just losing weight, if you’re overweight, can also help.
One key aid is moisture – keeping your throat and airways at optimum moisture eases tightness of the airways and reduces congestion. So, drinking some water or using a room humidifier can be helpful. Also, if you suffer from hay fever and have to take an antihistamine, be sure to drink plenty of water. The two will combine to dry out your airways, yet also keep them properly moist.
If snoring persists…
If snoring persists, there are things like dental grips, nasal strips, and anti-snoring pills and nasal sprays. All of them accomplish the same thing: opening your airways. With a dental device, it normally has to be custom designed and made by the dentist.
If none of these measures helps, then surgery may be needed. Consult with your doctor, and get a second opinion on how to proceed. The most common physical problems that cause snoring are a deviated septum, enlarged tonsils, or having a large overbite. A doctor can do somnoplasty, which requires going in through the mouth and removing some of the soft tissue in the upper airway.
Surgery for preventing snoring
If a deviated septum is the problem, nasal surgery can clear the airway by removing the obstruction. Then there’s an auvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP); the removal of some soft tissue from the back of the throat in the area of the palate. If you have an overbite, mandibular maxillar advancement surgery moves the lower jaw forward, and this opens the airway up more.
Finally, a Pillar Palatal Implant can ease snoring by reducing vibrations in the soft palate. Three pieces of polyester mesh are sown into the area between the hard and soft palate. Whichever means you use, there are plenty of ways to deal with snoring.