In seniors snoring could be one regarded as one of the senior health issues that are less serious. Compared with other issues such as cardiac health or respiratory diseases, it seems less threatening.
The medical truth however is that there are several serious health issues connected with snoring. For seniors, snoring shouldn’t always be brushed off with an embarrassed apology.
People who snore, often are not aware that they do so. Discovering that you snore can be a bit embarrassing if the information comes from your partner or a family member. If you suspect that you snore, but have no proof, you can set a voice activated recorder to run through the night.
Why Do People Snore?
Snoring is breathing with noisy interruptions because the air cannot move freely through the nose and throat.
People snore when the the soft tissues in the upper airway vibrates with each breath.
The top of the mouth, the back of the throat and the back of the tongue all have their roles to play. When these muscular portions of the mouth and throat, become lax and floppy, snoring occurs.
Why is Snoring Sometimes Worse in Seniors?
In seniors sometimes the soft parts of the mouth and throat become floppier, this is called “loss of muscle tone”. Nevertheless, seniors too can, and should,find solutions to the problem of snoring.
Things that make Snoring Worse
The following features often make snoring worse:
- The shape of the mouth, the throat and parts of the face.
- Alcohol – avoid alcohol 4 hours before bedtime.
- A problem due to allergies.
- Having a blocked nose.
- Obesity – extra body tissues puts pressure on the body’s breathing apparatus.
- Having a very deep sleep – then the muscles are more relaxed than usual.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and other Medical Issues
Snoring could be one regarded as one of the senior health issues that are less serious , but not when it is caused by OSA. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition where breathing ceases temporarily during sleep. A person’s sleep can be disturbed, by breathing pauses tens or hundreds of times, every night. Obstructive sleep apnea is considered dangerous since it can increase the risk of other conditions.
- Heart disease
Additionally, snoring should be dealt with carefully since it can indicate a medical problem with other conditions such as:
- obesity or
- sinus issues
Other annoying and potentially dangerous affects of disturbed sleep due to OSA are:
- feeling sleepy and dozing off during the day
- poor sleep patterns at night
- morning headaches
- poor concentration
- memory issues
- being easily irritated
What can You Do To Stop Snoring?
Snoring is considered a treatable senior health issue. In all cases of serious snoring that disturbs your sleep or the sleep of another person, go for a proper medical evaluation.
There are a range of techniques to try, according to Dr. Eric J. Kezirian who is a sleep and snoring specialist. If you have time, visit the original article for tips and guidance.
- Don’t drink alcohol 4 hours before bedtime.
- Sleeping on the side is recommended.
- Sleeping pills can cause lax muscles and therefore, snoring.
- Losing weight, where possible.
- Regular sleep patterns – to avoid extreme tiredness and the resulting need for deep sleep
- Use your pillows correctly. To promote good breathing, tilt your head back a little.
- Hydrate the body sufficiently during the day, stay hydrated by night.
- Nasal breathing is better than breathing from the mouth. If it is not possible, see a medical professional.
- Look in the mirror as you breathe – do you see nasal passage collapse? Sticky nasal strips can help.
- Listen to medical people and family members who say: Stop smoking.
- See a sleep specialist or visit a sleep lab, for analysis of your sleep and snoring patterns.
Shop at an ‘Anti-Snore Store’
There are a number of devices and commercial products that provide sleep and snoring solutions, such as anti-snore pillows, anti-snore mouthpieces and chin straps all available online:
- Anti-snore mouthpieces at www.tuck.com
- Five anti-snore pillows are evaluated at https://beddingpal.com/ – Choosing the Best Anti-Snore pillow
- Popular Snore Apps to help you figure out snoring.
- Chin strap that keeps the mouth closed during sleep – Anti-snore chin strap
Can You Do Something About Snoring if you are in Rehabilitation?
While you are in a rehab center, your sleep pattern and routine might be altered. Even when you return home your sleeping habits might be changed due to the medical condition you have/had.
Remember to ask a nurse or the other medical staff about:
- Disturbed sleep due to medications
- If you must or may sleep in any particular position
- Permission to use sleep-inducing medication
- How much water you may drink during the day
- Taking daytime naps to avoid exhaustion due to a noisy environment or intensive therapy sessions
- A healthy diet – some recommend avoiding fish, or late night meals, especially late night ice-cream snacks. Does this fit into your current lifestyle?
N.B. Disclaimer: Please note that this article is for informational and convenience purposes only and no products mentioned here are endorsed in any way. The article is not responsible for any decisions you make.
A Final Word ZZZZZzzzzzz….
We have seen, that while snoring could be one regarded as one of the senior health issues that are less serious , it should not be ignored. You may need to try more than one solution until the problem is improved or solved. The issues with seniors snoring, is that it might indicate other health issues. Therefore, extra vigilance and care is required.