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Snoring Places Bedfellows at Odds, Individuals At-Risk for Health Issues

Simple lifestyle measures can often solve problem

DAYTON, Ohio (March 31, 2020) – Snoring doesn’t just have an impact upon your relationship with a loved one lying next to you. It could also deal a serious blow to your health.

Snoring is the noisy breathing one makes during sleep. The loud, and often annoying sound, results when the muscles in your throat relax, your tongue falls backward, and your throat narrows. As you breathe, the walls of the throat vibrate, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

While snoring is a very common condition – affecting up to 90 million Americans on a regular basis – it doesn’t make it any easier when it’s your sleep that is being disrupted. More often than not, snoring is simply a nuisance, but there are times when it belies a deeper health issue, said Michael Robertson, MD, a primary care physician with Middletown Family Practice.

“Often the way you feel upon waking or throughout the day can be an indicator if a trip to the doctor is needed for snoring,” said Dr. Robertson, who practices with Premier Physician Network. “Not feeling rested upon waking, as well as experiencing headaches on a regular basis, may be signs that snoring is affecting your health.”

The two most common adverse health effects that are believed to be causally linked to snoring are daytime dysfunction and heart disease, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Those who have pre-existing health conditions such as high blood pressure would benefit from having their snoring evaluated through a sleep study, Dr. Robertson said.

Sleep studies can determine if snoring is causing conditions such as sleep apnea, which thankfully can be addressed and corrected with the use of a sleep apnea machine. Still, not all snoring is linked to sleep apnea, and many times it can be corrected by simple measures at home, Dr. Robertson said.

Take some time to try these methods for several consecutive nights:

Reposition yourself in bed – The way you lie in bed can affect whether or not you snore. Lying on your back or stomach can both compress the airways and produce a snoring sound. Instead, try lying on your side and using pillows as a way to prop yourself up and maintain your position throughout the night.

Address allergy issues – Those living in the Miami Valley area are especially prone to seasonal allergies. Make sure these issues are addressed and that treatment prescribed by your doctor is taken regularly. Allergies can lead to congestion and narrowed passages, which result in snoring. Many over-the-counter medications can address allergies and aid in breathing.

Kick the smoking habit – While studies haven’t officially backed it, simple observation has anecdotally proven that those who smoke are much more likely to snore. Smoking cessation also is the foundation for overall good health and reduces one’s risk for other diseases that could contribute to snoring.

Watch alcohol consumption – Excessive alcohol consumption, especially if it is done closer to bedtime, can cause the airways to relax and contribute to snoring.

Try devices with caution – There are devices such as nose strips that claim they can cure snoring. This may or may not be true depending on the source of your snoring. It doesn’t harm to try them, but you may want to discuss its use with your health care provider first.

For more information about snoring, or to schedule an appointment with a Premier Physician Network physician near you, visit PremierHealth.com/Schedule.

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