Although snoring is very common, it can cause significant relationship problems for couples who live together. The partner of a snorer loses an average of an hour of sleep per night, and many couples in which one member snores report decreased intimacy and satisfaction in their marriage. Additionally, snoring can disrupt restful sleep for the snorer.
Snoring occurs when air passing through narrowed airways vibrates and creates noise. The sleep cycle, sleeping position, and use of alcohol and medications can contribute to snoring. The most common causes include:
Men and those who are overweight are more likely to snore.
Those who snore consistently — almost every night or every night — experience frequent waking at night, inability to sleep deeply, and daytime fatigue. Snorers are also at increased risk of sleep apnea — pauses in breathing during sleep — which puts the patient at high risk of many health problems, including:
There are a variety of methods doctors use to alleviate snoring in patients. Some patients find relief with a single treatment option while other patients require a combination or an escalation of treatment methods. These options include:
CPAP is considered the treatment of choice for sleep apnea, but only a qualified doctor can determine the right treatment for each individual patient.
An otolaryngologist (ENT), also called an ear, nose, and throat doctor, treats snoring and problems related to snoring.
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