According to the Sleep Health Foundation, over 775,000 Australians are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (as of 2019). This sleeping disorder is linked to cardiovascular health issues and daytime fatigue for many Australians who are affected by OSA. The common occurrence of OSA among Australian adults has created a sense of urgency to find an effective treatment and learn how to stop snoring permanently. Otherwise, this problem could put thousands of lives at risk and amount to billions of dollars worth of healthcare costs.
Can You Stop Snoring Permanently?
Is it possible to treat snoring for good? This question requires attention before you dive deep into potential solutions for snoring. The answer is yes!
However, it is not as easy as might seem. There are several steps you must take to eliminate snoring and the severity of your snoring problems is one such factor to consider.
Snoring happens when the upper airway passages are obstructed resulting in the vibrating noise when you breathe during sleep. The secret to stopping snoring permanently is to keep that upper passageway open. But to do that, you must first identify what is causing that airway passage to collapse and form an obstruction.
Yes, you could stop snoring permanently but that won’t happen overnight. Depending on the cause and severity, it would require a combination of steps involving lifestyle changes and medical interventions.
How to Stop Snoring Permanently
The best approach to stopping snoring is to devise a treatment plan based on the identified cause for snoring. Use this guide to find the appropriate treatment based on the root of the snoring problem.
1. Snoring caused by allergies or a blocked nasal airway
A blocked nasal airway due to allergies can be a cause for snoring, especially for individuals who don’t typically snore. During allergy season, certain individuals are more prone to have allergic reactions and sinus infections. According to Harvard Health, allergies do make snoring worse – and louder. Aside from allergies, a deviated septum can also block nasal airways, resulting in more snoring.
The best way to stop snoring for good due to allergies is to treat the allergy. You can use a nasal steroid spray and antihistamine medication. The combination of these treatment approaches allows you to treat allergic symptoms and make breathing easier, as well as eliminating snoring.
2. Snoring caused by bulky throat tissue
Being overweight results in excessive throat tissue that obstructs your airway passage. Some individuals have abnormally large amounts of throat tissue, which can worsen snoring and result in breathing problems at night.
There are lifestyle changes you can adopt to reduce weight and eliminate excess throat tissue that leads to snoring. These lifestyle modifications include regular exercise and switching to a healthier diet. Maintaining a moderate weight will significantly improve snoring or eliminate it. If you need help with dropping or maintaining your ideal weight, you can work with a nutritionist to build a nutrient-rich meal plan.
Another treatment option for excess throat tissue, but one that will produce results overnight is to undergo a procedure known as UPPP. This procedure involves surgically removing the excess tissue to widen the airway passage in the throat. The removal of the excess tissue can be done using traditional surgical tools or laser-assisted. Without the excess tissue, air can flow freely in your throat to reduce snoring episodes.
3. Snoring caused by long soft uvula (palate)
The long and soft uvula is another physiological reason for snoring. This condition results in a narrow opening from your nose to the throat, which blocks the airway and makes it difficult for the air to pass through without creating vibrations as you breathe.
The best remedy for this cause of snoring is to remove the uvula through a procedure known as uvulectomy. This surgery is recommended for OSA patients whose uvula interferes with their breathing patterns. Your doctor can also recommend the partial removal of the uvula when you undergo UPPP.
4. Snoring caused by sleep position
Your sleeping position can be a factor that can cause snoring. For example, some people snore only when they sleep on their backs. Therefore, sleep experts suggest sleeping on your side to eliminate snoring for good.
You can work together with your partner in this to ensure that they can help you overcome snoring. They can tap you on the back or push you onto your side when you sleep on your back and begin to snore.
Since sleeping on the back is scientifically proven to make snoring worse, it is best to elevate your head by up to four inches. This will free up your airway passage and ease breathing. It is also possible to find pillows that are designed to avoid crimping your neck muscles and prevent snoring.
5. Snoring caused by relaxed throat muscles
Poor muscle toning in the throat can cause the muscles to collapse and block the airway during sleep. One of the best ways to stop snoring due to relaxed throat muscles is to perform mouth exercises regularly.
The Sleep Foundation recommends mouth exercises that you can perform to increase the tone of your throat muscles. The more you perform these exercises, the more toned your throat muscles are.
6. Snoring caused by alcohol consumption
Drinking alcohol can also relax your throat muscles and block the airway. Therefore, you should refrain from drinking too much alcohol, especially if you have a chronic snoring problem. You can start by reducing your alcohol intake until you gradually skip alcohol from your system altogether. This lifestyle change not only addresses your snoring problem but can also prevent other health conditions from arising.
Identifying how to stop snoring permanently is only the first step. You must commit to your decision, especially when it comes to lifestyle changes if you want to stop snoring for good. It is also important you seek medical help if the snoring persists. Remember, it is not the main issue but only a symptom of some other conditions. Don’t wait for your health to worsen before you seek a doctor’s help or have your condition evaluated by an expert.