It’s worthwhile to determine why you snore as it can make a big difference in finding an effective solution. The first step is to keep a sleep diary. You’ll need to enlist your partner’s help to observe patterns in your sleep and pinpoint when you snore by noticing how you are sleeping when the cacophony begins. Observing what stops you from snoring – often a change of position, not drinking any alcohol before bedtime, or taking a hot shower where the steam clears the nasal passages before turning in – can also provide clues as to why you snore.
These are some of the common types of snorers:
Mouth shut Snorer
If you sleep with your mouth shut but still snore, it could indicate a problem with your tongue and nasal passages and it may be a good idea to visit a doctor to see if there is swelling or congestion that could be causing the blockage in your airways which is causing you to snore. Often, a course of antihistamines or a medicated nasal spray can do the trick.
Mouth wide open Snorer
This is usually a result of some obstruction in the throat. If your throat is partially blocked, your body tries to force more air in, causing vibration and a snoring sound. Enlarged tonsils can be the culprit here, so discuss it with your doctor. Sleeping deeply because of having a few drinks or a sleeping pill might be the cause here as they cause the muscles of the mouth and throat to become very relaxed and sink into the airway. If this is the case, you’ll need to cut down on the booze and avoid the medicine to see if it helps.
Surgery is an option for patients who have tried these interventions with no success, especially those who suffer from a deviated nasal septum, enlarged tonsils, or a small lower jaw with an overbite causing the throat to be too narrow. Surgical treatment aims at opening the airway and is individualised to address the anatomical areas which may be causing a blockage.