Let’s first talk about the simplest and the least harmful sleep disorder: simple snoring. Simple or nuisance snoring is just a partial, mild upper airway collapse. More than 40 million adults snore. “Simple” or nuisance snoring is harmless unless it bothers the sleep of your bed partner. If the bed partner’s sleep is affected by this snoring, their health can truly be altered. While snoring is more common in men, many women also keep their bed partners awake.
In susceptible people, when enough muscle relaxation occurs, the tongue presses on the flabby tissue at the back of the throat and the airway starts collapsing. The air rushes through this narrowed airway space and the increased air turbulence causes the flabby tissue to flap back and forth, causing the annoying sound we know as snoring. As many as half of adults snore at least occasionally.
Sometimes snoring may indicate a serious health condition. Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol close to bedtime or sleeping on your side, can help stop snoring.
Oral appliance therapy is extremely effective in helping these suffering bed partners.