Your snoring (or ronchopathy) is not only an inconvenience to your sleeping partner, it can also lead to various health issues. Although the phenomenon is not rare (approximately 45% of adults snore occasionally, and 25% snore every night), you must remain vigilant.
Fortunately, if you react quickly, it is possible to treat your snoring problem and prevent it from getting worse.
Here is some useful information about snoring and how to treat it.
Causes of snoring
Snoring can be caused by many things:
- Obesity: Significant weight gain leads to a narrowing of the respiratory tract;
- Congested nose: A cold or allergies can interfere with breathing through the nose and can cause snoring;
- Smoking: Smoking irritates the mucous membranes and obstructs your airways, which can lead to snoring;
- Alcohol consumption: Alcohol, or other drugs, often relaxes the throat muscles, causing them to relax and block part of your airway;
- Tonsillitis: Swollen or larger than normal tonsils obstruct the airflow. This results in more frequent night snoring;
- Aging: As we age, the muscular tissues of the respiratory system relax, leading to a snoring issue;
- Your sleeping position.
Thus, snoring can be caused by your lifestyle, sleep habits or the natural aging of your body. To avoid this problem, it is therefore advisable not to smoke, avoid alcohol before going to sleep and maintain a healthy weight.
Consequences of snoring
If you snore occasionally, you probably have nothing to worry about. However, serious snorers should consult a health care professional.
In particular, it is important to verify whether you have sleep apnea syndrome, especially if you do not sleep well every night. This is a sleep disorder that can have a significant impact on your daily life.
In fact, nearly one in four adults is at risk of suffering from it during their lifetime. Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing is blocked, partially or completely, for more than 10 seconds, several times during the night. It is essential to consult a medical professional if you believe you have this condition.
Other possible consequences of a snoring issue include:
- Cardiovascular illnesses: An American study conducted in Detroit in 2013 found that snorers were at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disorders like arteriosclerosis, a coronary artery disease that causes hardening of the arteries. This reduces blood circulation and may increase the risk of heart attacks;
- Problems with memory: Neurological studies show that snoring a lot can affect the brain. This can result in cognitive issues, like memory loss. You may also feel more irritable and less able to concentrate.
While snoring is often a minor and inconsequential condition, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor about it.
How do you treat a snoring condition?
Snoring treatments vary according to the intensity of the problem. For minor snoring issues, it may be just a matter of improving your lifestyle. Throat sprays or nasal strips can also help you to keep your airways clear.
You can also try to raise your head slightly while sleeping, in order to open your airways more effectively. The use of a decongestant product is also recommended if your nose is blocked.
For more severe cases, consult your doctor for a referral to the appropriate resources. You can then meet with a Médicus Respiratory Therapist to benefit from the best products for treating sleep apnea, such as masks or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices.
Médicus: a team of respiratory therapists focused on your needs
Snoring may be frequent, and often insignificant, but it is important to take precautions.
Médicus includes a team of experienced respiratory therapists who help you solve your snoring condition, working in collaboration with your primary care physician.
Sleep better and live better, with Médicus.
Validated by Louis Bernier, Respiratory therapist at Médicus