Your sleep impacts every aspect of your health and daily life. Sleeping well helps you look, feel and perform your best. But a sleep problem can be harmful to your health and well-being. One of the most common sleep problems is snoring. Learn more about the warning signs and how you can get help.
Snoring is a sound that occurs during sleep when soft tissue in the upper airway vibrates as you breathe. Snoring is extremely common in men, but also occurs frequently in women, especially during pregnancy and after menopause. Obesity, nasal obstruction, alcohol and smoking all increase the risk of snoring.
The sound of snoring tends to be most disturbing to a bed partner or roommate, but loud snoring can wake the person who snores, too. Loud and frequent snoring is a common sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
How is Snoring Diagnosed?
A doctor must determine if your snoring is a sign that you have obstructive sleep apnea. A doctor who is a sleep specialist can provide you with a complete sleep evaluation. This may involve either an overnight sleep study at a sleep center or a home sleep apnea test. The sleep doctor will interpret the data from your sleep study to make a diagnosis.
How is Snoring Treated?
Research shows that oral appliance therapy
is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea
. An oral sleep appliance is worn in the mouth only while you sleep and fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. Oral appliances support your jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway.Oral appliances are quiet, portable and easy to care for.
Losing weight, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and sleeping on your side also can help reduce snoring. If you and your doctor decide that oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for you, then your doctor will write a prescription for you to receive a custom-made oral appliance. You also will receive a referral to a qualified dentist who can provide oral appliance therapy.
More than 100 oral appliances have received FDA clearance. Your dentist will recommend the device that is best for you.
Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans.
Talk to your doctor about treatment options for snoring. Ask if oral appliance therapy might be the right solution for you. Get help today to improve your sleep and your health!
Updated Aug. 7, 2015