The best way to stop snoring is to target the root of the problem
Millions of Americans—and their significant others—suffer from snoring. While many find it nothing more than an annoyance, what they don't realize is that it can be a sign of more serious health problems.
Snoring typically happens when your airway gets partly blocked somehow, often as a result of nasal congestion, enlarged tonsils, floppy tissue, or alcohol.
According to sleep experts, nasal strips don't always solve the problem. In these cases, they recommend going to the root of the issue.
If you have a stuffy nose, for instance, elevate your head or sleep on your side. Other steps can include avoiding alcohol for at least four hours before you go to bed, not smoking, and losing weight.
"If these steps don't work, it's probably time to call a doctor who can test you for obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA," said Consumer Reports Health Editor Diane Umanski.
OSA is what happens when you stop breathing while you sleep, and it's typically caused by something blocking the airway. About 34 percent of men and 19 percent of women who snore regularly are affected by OSA.
Snoring can also put you at risk for serious health conditions. It raises your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia, and high blood pressure.
Your doctor may recommend treatment through continuous positive airway pressure (C-PAP) therapy, usually using a C-PAP machine that goes onto the head and increases airflow into the throat. Another at-home option involves tongue exercises.
If none of these works, there are surgical options available.
Experts say that the main thing snorers should remember is that they should not underestimate its effects and should make changes that will allow them and their significant others rest better.