Snoring can be more than just a loud disrupting noise. Snoring can lead to other complications such as daytime drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, high blood pressure, heart conditions, stroke, frequent frustration, aggression and an increased risk of behavior or learning problems in children. If you snore, you may also have sleep apnea, a dangerous condition that requires immediate attention. Your doctor may recommend a sleep study as well as a thorough examination of the oral structures to help identify the underlying causes.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is the raspy sound air makes when vibrating off the relaxed tissues in your throat. When you fall asleep, the muscles in the roof of your mouth (soft palate), tongue and throat can relax and partially block your airway. When you breathe, the air vibrates against these relaxed muscles, making that raspy snoring sound.The more narrow your airway, the more restricted the air flow becomes. Snoring can be caused by many factors such as a low, thick and narrow soft palate, the tongue falling back into the airway, sinus problems, alcohol consumption, sleep position, allergies and your weight.
Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)
Snoring can lead to a condition known as Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). In UARS, the soft tissues of the throat relax, narrowing the airway and requiring increased breathing effort. In UARS, the brain arouses from deep sleep throughout the night when increased effort is needed to breathe, resulting in frequent awakening throughout the night. The restorative processes that typically happen during normal sleep cycles, allowing the body to repair and rejuvenate itself, are disrupted in UARS, leading to daytime fatigue, weight gain and insomnia.
So, what's the difference between sleep apnea and UARS? Frequently, though not always, people with obstructive sleep apnea are often overweight or obese, but those with UARS tend to be of average weight. Additionally, the pauses in breathing seen with sleep apnea are either absent or very low in those with UARS. Neither condition should be ignored, however, as untreated UARS often progresses to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a dangerous health condition related to many long-term health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and heart failure.
How Can Myofunctional Therapy Help Snoring?
Your myofunctional therapist can work with you to strengthen these muscles in your mouth and throat and help you to develop proper tongue rest and swallowing function so that you can get a restful night's sleep. Studies have proven that strengthening these muscles in your mouth and throat can help normalize breathing and reduce the symptoms of snoring in most people.
Contact Us Today To Learn More!
Snoring frequency and intensity can increase over time. Myofunctional therapy can reduce symptoms of snoring and other sleep disordered breathing conditions. Schedule your FREE 30 minute consultation to see how myofunctional therapy can help you!