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 It’s easy to pass off a loved one’s personal habit as an eccentricity. Eating ice cream with a fork is cute. So is ironing towels and underpants. But that’s just not the case when it comes to snoring.

About 80 million people in North America snore. This means that millions of spouses and family members nationwide are highly annoyed. And even though it’s common — and harmless — to snore occasionally, chronic snoring is a different matter.

A chronic snorer is someone who snores whenever they sleep and who is usually tired after what seemed like a good night’s rest. Chronic snoring, which affects about 25% of the adult population, puts snorers at risk for developing serious health problems.

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft palate and uvula, which occurs during sleep when the airway is obstructed.

Things that can cause your airway to become obstructed include:

Allergies — Sinus infections triggered by allergies can cause some people to snore during season changes.

Deviated Septum — Deformities of the nose, as well as nose polyps can cause snoring.

Alcohol — Drinking alcohol before bedtime can make the throat muscles especially relaxed, causing obstruction.

Bulky Throat Tissue — Being overweight can cause enlarged throat tissue, which narrows the airway.

Large Tonsils — Children with especially large tonsils often snore.

Chronic snoring has also been linked to sleep apnea, a serious condition that causes long interruptions of sleep and high blood pressure. Sleep apnea may also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Snoring Treatments

As the British stage actress, Mrs. Patrick Campbell, said, “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Snore and you sleep alone.” So if you want to keep your loved ones by your side, you may want to see a dentist or doctor for chronic snoring treatment.

Medical and dental treatment for snoring includes:

  • Oral appliances such as Silent Nite®
  • Nasal strips
  • Continous Positive Airway Pressure
  • Oral surgery

Your dentist or doctor may also suggest simple snoring treatments such as losing weight, sleeping on your side and avoiding taking sleeping pills or antihistamines before going to bed.

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