Can this common sleep disturbance be fixed?

Snoring is a common problem for many people trying to catch some much needed sleep. About 37 million adults snore on a consistent basis according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Snoring occurs when relaxed tissues in the narrowed airway vibrate as you inhale and exhal,e according to NSF. The stronger the vibration, the louder the snore. Both men and women struggle with snoring, but overweight men tend to have a higher risk of snoring.

According to Dr. David Koh, pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill., the following may reduce snoring.

  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Treating nasal congestion
  • Sleeping on your side
  • Losing weight
  • Getting adequate sleep (7-8 hours)
  • Elevating the head of the bed
  • Avoiding sedating medications
  • Going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time
  • Not eating within 3 hours of bedtime.

Some people explore surgical options such as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), an upper airway remodeling surgery, and maxillomandibular advancement (MMA), a surgery to reposition the jaw, to find relief from snoring.

“UPPP is falling out of favor because of the invasive nature and unpredictability of its success,” says Dr. Koh. “The MMA is a more involved process. It will change your bite and usually orthodontics are needed prior to the MMA. This is usually reserved for young patients with retrognathia who also have sleep apnea.”

“Snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea.  However, even if you don’t snore certain symptoms or medical conditions should warrant a sleep study,” says Dr. Koh.

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