Depending on your age, your snoring may be more of a problem than you think. What may be a bother to your spouse or roommates may be a real medical issue that needs attention. Snoring is the direct result of obstructed airflow. When your airflow is obstructed, it means there is a problem causing the obstruction. It also means you aren't getting enough air. Who's at risk and who needs attention?
Children That Snore
If your child snores, it always means there is a problem. It could be that the nasal passages are too big, caused by swollen tonsils and adenoids. It can also be caused from infection, sinus allergies, and deformities. If your child snores for more than a few days, it is time to see a doctor. Call the pediatrician to have your snoring child assessed and treated as soon as possible.
Adults That Snore
If you're an adult, and snoring is a problem, make sure you understand why. It may be that as you've gotten older your muscle tone in your tongue and throat has weakened, or you may have an infection or other cause. It's important to see your doctor about regular or excessive snoring.
- Sleep Study
Your doctor may schedule a sleep study in order to determine if your difficulty sleeping is related to a sleep disorder or a breathing issue.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Many elderly people can benefit from continuous positive airway pressure by using a CPAP machine. Talk with your doctor about the best machine, best fit, accessories, and getting used to the machine before regular use during sleep.
- Diet and Weight Loss
Your snoring may be a direct result of bulky throat tissue caused from obesity. Talk with your doctor about working toward a healthy weight if this may be the cause of your snoring. Obstructed airflow may be causing too little oxygen to your brain during sleep--which is a serious issue!
- Surgical Intervention
It may be that you need a procedure or treatment to correct a deformed septum, remove nasal polyps, or remove tonsils and adenoids.
Snoring is like a dry cough that lasts for years, but doesn't seem serious. It's often overlooked, but can be caused by a very serious problem. Don't put your health at risk. Snoring can cause interrupted sleep, diminished oxygen levels, light sleeping, and strain on the heart. It's especially important to address snoring, breathing, and sleeping concerns in children and elderly individuals. A problem with a physical cause will not be corrected with sleep aids. You must first be diagnosed by your medical professional.