San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
An estimated 37 million individuals snore. Snoring is a result of a blocked or restricted airway. As air attempts to pass through your airway, soft tissue vibrates, resulting in the infamous snoring sound. But what causes airway blockages? Today on the blog, our sleep apnea dentists in the Bay Area explore six reasons people snore and what can be done about it.
As if getting older wasn’t difficult enough from the graying hair, wrinkles, and limited mobility, snoring is also common in aging adults. You may struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep as you get older. Just as skin loosens as you age, muscles mass also diminishes. As a result, your throat muscles may collapse when you lie down to sleep, resulting in loud snoring or gasping for air.
You have a condition of the nose or throat
Certain nose or throat conditions like enlarged adenoids, swollen tonsils, or a deviated septum could block the airway and cause snoring. During bouts of allergies or sickness, your tonsils may inflame, and sinuses may become congested, which could affect proper airflow and lead to snoring while asleep. But some individuals naturally have enlarged tissues of the nose and throat or have a deviated septum from a past facial injury. Regardless, these issues are likely to make you snore while sleeping. Colds and allergies clear up, but if you chronically snore due to nose or throat issues, see a sleep apnea specialist in the Bay Area for an evaluation.
Your sleep position is to blame
Sometimes, your sleep position is to blame for your snoring. Lying on one’s back makes snoring more likely. If this is the case for you, consider sleeping on your side or in a reclined position to see if your snoring stops. Ask your sleep partner if they notice a change in your snoring habits to determine if this solution is working for you.
You consume alcohol
Alcohol relaxes the body, including throat and airway muscles. So, the idea that alcohol helps you sleep better is actually just a myth! In fact, it disrupts the deep sleep cycle and impedes restful sleep. So, you might have to reconsider having that nightcap before going to bed. You don’t have to avoid alcohol entirely, but you may want to limit your consumption.
You’re packing extra pounds
Being overweight makes a person more susceptible to various health conditions, including snoring. The added weight leads to poor muscle tone and extra fat deposits around the neck, which can ultimately lead to snoring. It would be helpful to maintain a healthy weight to reduce your risk of snoring and other health-related conditions.
You have sleep apnea
Lastly, one of the main causes of snoring is obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea isn’t just something that older people or overweight individuals get. Studies report that healthy, young individuals are known to have sleep-breathing disorders. If you snore, you should see a sleep apnea doctor in San Francisco for an assessment of your condition. Regardless of the reason behind your snoring, you should not ignore it. Glen Park Dental can help you stop snoring by prescribing a custom-made oral appliance that helps hold the mouth and tongue in a proper position to alleviate airway blockages and allow for better breathing while asleep.
Sleep Apnea Management in San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland
The most important thing to know about snoring is that it’s a sign your body isn’t getting enough air, which could be detrimental to your health. Additionally, it is vital to get it treated and manage the issue before your body suffers other health risks like heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline. If you snore and live in the Bay Area, it’s time to schedule a sleep apnea screening today by calling Glen Park Dental at (415) 585-1500.