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What are causes and cures for snoring?

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Quick Answer

Relaxed muscles in the throat restricting the airway cause snoring, and treatments involve lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, according to WebMD. If snoring does not improve after implementing lifestyle changes, a patient may consider going to the doctor to rule out a serious condition.

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What are causes and cures for snoring?
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Full Answer

When a person sleeps, the muscles in the throat and back of the mouth relax. In those who snore, these relaxing muscles narrow the airway, WebMD explains. Tissues around the airway, such as the uvula and soft palate, vibrate when the person breathes, which results in snoring. The tissue vibrates more depending on how restricted the airway becomes. This vibration increases the volume of the snoring.

Several lifestyle changes can help control snoring, WebMD reports. Sleeping on the back worsens the condition, so doctors advise patients to sleep on their sides instead. Smoking and obesity are linked to snoring, so losing weight and quitting tobacco use may help. Certain medications, such as sedatives, taken before bedtime may lead to snoring. Alcohol use before bed is a contributing factor as well. Avoiding alcohol and medications that aggravate snoring may alleviate the issue.

Patients may try opening their airways with nasal strips or disks placed outside the nose, WebMD states. Some patients also have success with devices that pull the jaw and tongue forward, which increases air flow.

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