What is Snoring?
Snoring is caused by an obstruction of the air passageways. When you are asleep, the muscles in the throat relax, causing the tongue to fall backward. This relaxes the throat and makes it narrower and ‘floppier’. When this happens, and you breathe, it will cause a vibration in the walls of the throat. These vibrations cause the loud and unpleasant sound of snoring. This mostly occurs when you inhale, but it can happen to a lesser extent when you exhale as well.
Sometimes the walls of the throat will collapse all the way, causing the airways to become completely closed. This blockage of the airways is what is known as sleep apnea, causing a person to cease breathing completely. Sleep apnea can obviously be quite serious and if severe will require medical attention.
DID YOU KNOW?
Approximately 40% of men and
24% of women snore on a regular basis
Louder snorers are more likely to suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
How Can I Stop Snoring?
It’s best to consult with a sleep doctor to determine the severity of your snoring. If you only have the occasional mild snoring but feel refreshed upon waking, and it does not affect your day-to-day functioning, you can try some of these methods on your own:
- Avoid tranquilizers, antihistamines and sleeping pills before bed
- Lose weight
- Establish regular sleep patterns
- Avoid alcohol for a minimum of four hours before bed
- Do not eat for three hours before going to bed
- Sleep on your side instead of on your back
When to Talk to Your Doctor
You should consult with a sleep specialist if you snore and notice any of the following signs or symptoms:
- Headaches in the morning
- Excessive sleepiness during the day
- Recent weight gain
- Awakening during the night feeling confused
- Waking up in the morning not feeling rested
- Changes in your levels of concentration, attention or memory
- Any pauses in breathing that occurs while you are sleeping (your partner may be more aware of this than you are)
If your doctor thinks that your snoring is not a sign of a more serious problem, then an oral appliance may be prescribed. This can help quieten your snoring as well as improve the quality of your bed partner’s sleep.
Stop suffering from poor sleep. Find out how we can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my insurance cover treatment?
Insurance coverage varies between plans and providers. The easiest way to find out if your insurance policy will cover the appliance is to look at your list of benefits and requirements. We are contracted with most medical insurance providers including Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare, so we can help you determine if your visit will be covered. In the vast majority of cases, where there is a medical need for treatment, insurance will cover at least part of the treatment.
*Note that most insurance companies consider the treatment of snoring as a “cosmetic” issue, and therefore won’t cover the cost of treatment.
Will treatment require surgery?
Here at the Center for Sleep Apnea and TMJ, we focus on finding a non-surgical solution first. In fact, we specialize in non-surgical treatments. Surgery is only considered as a last resort when all other avenues of treatment have been explored.
Will I have to take medication?
Most of the treatments do not require the use of medications. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help alleviate some of the pain caused by TMJ.
Will I have to be connected to a machine while I sleep?
We specialize in solutions for people that are CPAP intolerant or can't use a CPAP machine.
The best treatment for sleep apnea is the use of a CPAP machine. But in cases where that hasn’t been successful, we prescribe oral appliances that are worn at night.
Oral appliance therapy is a widely used and accepted method for treating sleep disordered breathing.
Call us for a consultation.