Snoring and Apnea
What causes snoring?
Snoring occurs when floppy tissue in the airway relaxes during sleep and vibrates. Forty-five percent of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 25 percent are habitual snorers. Problem snoring is more frequent in males and overweight persons, and it usually grows worse with age.
What can you do to help “light” snoring?”
Adults who suffer from mild or occasional snoring should try the following self-help remedies:
- Adopt a healthy and athletic lifestyle to develop good muscle tone and lose weight.
- Avoid tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and antihistamines before bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol for at least four hours and heavy meals or snacks for three hours before bedtime.
- Establish regular sleep patterns
- Sleep on your side rather than your back
- Tilt the head of your bed upwards four inches.
My husband snores. Does it mean that he has sleep apnea?
No, but he may. Most patients with sleep apnea snore. Not all patients that snore have sleep apnea. It is important to determine if a patient that snores has sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea increases the risk for hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias (funny heart beats), congestive heart failure and an eight-fold increased risk of automobile accidents.
How do I know if my husband has sleep apnea?
If you think he obstructs, most of the time you are right. Normal obstruction is defined as less than five episodes per hour. After completing a history and physical, an overnight sleep study is ordered that will determine whether sleep apnea is present.