Yes, sleep apnea machines do stop snoring by providing continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
Do you have trouble sleeping at night because someone in your household snores? If so, you might be wondering if there is a way to stop the snoring without disrupting their sleep.
Snoring can be a real nuisance for not only yourself, but for anyone else who has to listen to it. While some people may find the loud rumbling sound humorous, the effects of excessive and chronic snoring can lead to serious health issues such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Fortunately, there are ways to treat chronic snoring and its associated conditions. Though, primarily used for treating sleep apnea, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, also known as a sleep apnea machine, could stop snoring.
Though, in this article, we will also discuss why you snore, alternative solutions for snoring, how CPAP machines work, and what you need to know in order to determine if one could be effective for helping you or your loved ones stop snoring.
Do sleep apnea machines stop snoring?
A CPAP machine is a common solution for those suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). A sleep apnea machine provides continuous air pressure that blows through a hose to a mask that you wear to make your airways stay open. Though, it’s important to remember that its primary purpose is not to stop snoring.
While it may reduce or eliminate snoring in some cases, if your goal is simply to find relief from the loud noise created by snoring and you don’t have OSA, then an anti-snoring oral appliance may be a more practical solution. These products are available without a prescription and can provide excellent results without breaking the bank. Seeing an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) can also help and advise you which path to take.
If you have been diagnosed with OSA or believe that this could be the cause of your heavy snoring, then a home sleep test can be used to make sure. If it turns out that you do suffer from OSA, then CPAP therapy or an oral appliance for sleep apnea will be necessary in order to treat the condition effectively.
Fortunately, there are several options available depending on your needs, preferences and budget. No matter what option you choose though, the improvement in your quality of sleep should be noticeable almost immediately.
What causes heavy snoring?
- Lying on one’s back can cause someone to snore heavily because gravity pulls the tongue and soft palate back while they sleep, narrowing or closing the airway.
- Oversized tonsils and adenoids, which are tissues located in the back of the throat, can block the airways and cause heavy snoring.
- Allergies and sinus trouble can lead to nasal congestion and inflammation of the nasal passages that causes snoring by blocking air flow.
- Enlarged turbinates (the bony structures inside the nose) can also block air passages and cause someone to snore heavily.
- A deviated septum (when the wall between nostrils is off center) can interfere with breathing during sleep which then leads to heavy snoring.
- Older age can naturally cause changes in throat muscles due to muscle tone reduction; this makes them relax enough for them to vibrate when someone breathes which causes loud snoring.
- People who are overweight tend to have extra fatty tissue in their neck region, which narrows their airways thus leading to heavier snoring due to narrower passageways for oxygen intake during sleep.
- Use of certain medications such as sedatives, antidepressants or sleep aids may lead to reduced nerve activity and relaxation of throat muscles resulting in loud snoring.
- Drinking alcohol before bedtime relaxes throat muscles and thus causes increased vibration in soft palate resulting in loud snoring.
- Improper positioning of the jaw when sleeping has been known to create or worsen heavy snoring.
What is the difference between snoring and sleep apnea?
Snoring is the sound that results from air vibration in the throat as you breathe during sleep, usually due to partial blockage of the airways. While snoring may be an occasional problem for some, it’s usually not a symptom of an underlying health issue.
Sleep apnea is a more serious condition and involves repeated pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep, often resulting in daytime fatigue. This occurs when the airways are completely blocked or narrowed during sleep, due to anatomical issues such as large tonsils or tongues blocking air flow, or because of weak muscles that collapse while sleeping and block airflow. In this case, only medical treatment can help to address the underlying causes of apnea.
Overall, snoring is only a partial blockage and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when there is a complete blockage. Also, snoring often gets worse when a person lies on their back and may stop if they change positions in bed. In contrast, sleep apnea does not usually stop with changing sleeping positions.
Should I use a sleep apnea machine for snoring?
Whether or not you should use a CPAP machine for snoring depends largely on the severity of your snoring and whether or not it is caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you have mild to moderate snoring that does not interfere with your quality of sleep, then a CPAP machine may not be necessary.
However, if your snoring is severe and/or accompanied by other symptoms such as daytime fatigue, headaches, and difficulty concentrating, you may need to consider using a CPAP machine.
Sleep Apnea Machine Alternatives For Snoring
1. Weight Loss
If you’re overweight, shedding some pounds can help decrease snoring or even cure it entirely in some cases. Being overweight puts extra pressure on your throat and decreases the size of your airway. If that’s the case, losing five to 10 percent of your current weight is a good start to reducing snoring.
2. Change Your Sleep Position
Snoring usually gets worse when you sleep on your back since the base of your tongue may rest against the back wall of your throat, which reduces the size of your airway and causes snoring noises. Sleeping on the side, stomach, or in an elevated position can keep this from happening and help prevent snoring for some people.
3. Avoid Alcohol late at night
Alcohol relaxes muscles throughout the body, including those in your throat, which makes them more likely to deform and cause snoring during sleep. Avoiding alcohol close to bedtime can help keep these muscles tense and prevent snoring noise from occurring during the night.
4. Sleep with a humidifier
A dry bedroom environment increases snoring by decreasing air quality. To get rid of stuffy nose issues and reduce inflammation in your throat passages, using a humidifier through the night can ease flow restriction caused by dryness, preventing loud noises from disrupting sleep.
5. Nasal Strips
Nasal strips are adhesive pieces of cloth that you apply to your nose before sleeping. They’re designed to pull the nostrils open, making it easier for air to get through and reducing snoring noises.
6. Mouth Guards
Mouth guards are designed to fit snugly in the mouth and keep the throat muscles from collapsing during sleep. This can help reduce snoring significantly by opening up the airways, allowing easy passage of air throughout the night.
If your snoring is caused by structural issues in the throat, such as enlarged tonsils or a narrow airway, surgery may be necessary. Surgery can help open up blocked airways and remove any extra tissue that may be blocking airflow.
Snoring is a common problem that can be caused by various factors, such as obesity or anatomical issues. In some cases, snoring may be a symptom of a more serious condition like sleep apnea. If you’re experiencing frequent snoring, it’s important to consult with your doctor and get evaluated for any underlying health conditions.
There are several alternatives to using a sleep apnea machine to reduce the effects of snoring, such as weight loss, changing sleeping positions, avoiding alcohol late at night, using a humidifier, nasal strips, mouth guards, and even surgery in some cases.