Diagnosing and Treating Snoring Online
Snoring — noisy breathing during sleep — is a common problem among people of all ages and genders, affecting approximately 90 million American adults, including 37 million on a regular basis. Snoring may occur nightly or intermittently. While snoring is a problem for both genders, men experience snoring more frequently than women. Snoring usually becomes more serious with age and can cause disruptions to your own sleep and your bed-partner's. This leads to fragmented and unrefreshing sleep, which translates into daytime lethargy, but can also lead to more significant adverse health effects, such as heart disease. About one-half of people who snore loudly also have obstructive sleep apnea.
You and your online doctor can help determine the severity of your snoring and what type of treatment is needed, or if a referral to a specialist is required.
During a video consult on Amwell, one of our board-certified doctors will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine the severity of your snoring. Your diagnosis will be based on the physical exam, duration, severity of symptoms and your medical history.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and benefits of the various treatment plans. Treatment for snoring is different depending on the severity and the cause. Following consistent treatment plan is imperative to eliminate or at least minimize the dangers associated with snoring such as interruptions of breathing (apnea), frequent waking, light sleeping, and strain on your heart. Following treatments can sometimes be difficult for younger patients and those with abnormal sleep schedules, so follow up visits, especially in the beginning of treatment, will be important.
Options for treatment of snoring range from the simple to the surgical and may include:
- Changing Sleep Position: switching from sleeping on your back to sleeping on your side
- Change Your Pillows: new pillows get rid of possible allergens and also change the angle of your neck, which can help open your airway
- Stay Well Hydrated: hydration thins out the mucous at the back of your throat
- Avoiding Alcohol: alcoholic beverages can reduce the resting tone of the muscles at the back of your throat
- Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene: keeping a consistent bedtime routine and eliminating distractions at bedtime such as TV or work
- Losing Weight: decreasing your weight will decrease the amount of throat tissue
- Open Nasal Passages: through warm showers, mouth pieces or a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine