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Snoring describes a series of vibrations in the respiratory structures and the sound which results from this. The cause of snoring is turbulence occurring inside your airway as you breathe in. The turbulence which causes snoring occurs due to a partial blockage which may appear anywhere in your airways, from your nose right down to your vocal chords. In many cases the turbulence which causes snoring only happens during sleep but in more severe cases, it may occur constantly and become worse when sleeping. The reason that the problem usually occurs while sleeping is due to the reduced muscle tone which occurs as we sleep. When we are awake, muscle tone helps to keep our airway in the right shape, however the loss of tone when sleeping often means that there is not enough muscle tone to stop the airway tissue from vibrating. The noise associated with snoring can emanate from the nose, oropharynx or the base of the tongue.

Treatment for Snoring

You cannot stop snoring by sheer force of will, nor can you 'cure' snoring. Fortunately, snoring can be controlled using a series of self-help treatments. Before you can set about controlling your snoring, you need to identify the physical problem which is causing it. There are a series of simple tests you can perform to find out what type of snorer you are. Isolating the physical problem is as easy as performing a few breathing exercises involving your mouth, nose and tongue. If you find that your snoring occurs due to a problem with your nose, then nasal dilators can help to control the problem. Nasal dilators work by preventing the nostril from collapsing and allowing more air to pass into your nose. If you are snoring due to an issue with your mouth then there are a number of products such as snore guards and chin strips which will encourage you to breathe through your nose while you sleep. In some cases the base of the tongue is responsible for snoring and the most commonly used treatment in cases like this is a Mandibular Advancement Device. The device works by holding the lower jaw and tongue in a forward position. This gives you more space to breath and prevents the vibrations which cause snoring. It is important to check with the manufacturer before purchasing, if you have dentures, uneven teeth, gum disease or a temporomandiublar joint problem.

In some cases, snorers will fit into more than one snoring category with snoring emanating from a number of places. In cases such as this, certain sprays maybe recommended. Snoring can also be exacerbated by a number of factors including being overweight, smoking, consuming excessive alcohol or other sedatives before sleeping, the position you sleep in, pregnancy and menopause. If it is not clear what the cause of your snoring is, then you should make an appointment with your GP. Bring your partner along as they can often provide useful information on your snoring habits.

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