Snoring is a very common condition that affects both men and women. Anyone who’s been on the receiving end of someone who snores, knows how disruptive it can be to a good night’s sleep.
Snoring is LOUD! In fact, the loudest recorded snore is 87 decibels, which is louder than a vacuum cleaner, and almost as loud as a lawnmower.1
Snoring is particularly frustrating because the snorer is normally completely unaware of the problem. They continue to sleep soundly while anyone within earshot has a sleepless night. As well as being a problem for a sleeping partner, snoring can also be a warning sign of obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea has some serious implications for your health, so it’s important to exclude this as the cause of your snoring before deciding on treatment.
Causes of snoring
When you go to sleep, the muscles at the back of your throat relax. When this happens, your airway can narrow or close as you breathe. With your airway partly blocked a vibration occurs and snoring results.
Snoring can be made worse by sleeping on your back, having a narrow or blocked nose, or having a small lower jaw.
Drinking alcohol (especially near bedtime) and certain medications, can contribute to snoring. Cigarette smoking, which can irritate the nose and throat, is often blamed also.
Should I get my snoring checked out?
If you snore, you should see your GP to make sure you don’t have obstructive sleep apnea. If the answer is yes to any of the following, your risk is increased:2
- I snore loudly
- I feel sleepy or fall asleep during the day
- I’m told I make gasping or choking sounds while I sleep
- I’m told I stop breathing while I sleep
- I have high blood pressure
- I’m overweight
- I’m male
- I’m aged over 50
- I have a large neck size
If your GP thinks your snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, he or she may ask you to undertake a sleep apnea assessment.
Treatments for sleep apnea often work for snoring too, even if you don’t have sleep apnea. In addition, snoring can be treated with other techniques, including implants in your soft palate, laser surgery and radiofrequency ablation.3
One of the simplest treatments is a method which is also used for obstructive sleep apnea called Continuous Open Airway Therapy (COAT™) by SomnoMed.
Worn in your mouth while you sleep, a SomnoMed COAT device moves your lower jaw forward to prevent your tongue and the soft tissue in your mouth falling back and blocking your airway while you sleep.
SomnoMed manufactures the world’s leading COAT device. It’s called SomnoDent® and it’s available in Australia from specially trained dentists. You can register to get a referral to a dentist near you.