Many people feel like they snore more as they age. But is this true? The short answer is “yes.” However, it’s not because we’re getting older- it’s because the tissues in our throat and nose are changing with time.
Our throats get narrower, which can make breathing through them difficult. Plus, there’s a natural decrease in muscle tone. This means that the tissue at the back of your throat relaxes and droops down into your airway, making it easier for you to breathe through your mouth.
The soft palate, which is the back of your throat, also becomes less stiff. All these changes increase the likelihood that you’ll snore as you age. The good news? Not everyone who snores does it every night- so there are often nights when they don’t have any issues!
Don England from snoring prevention specialists DawnStudy.com has researched the correlation of snoring and age. Here are his findings.
Snoring can be caused by a number of different things
Snoring is usually caused by a blockage in the nose or throat, meaning that there’s some kind of obstruction which you can’t clear while breathing- and this causes vibrations when you breathe.
This vibration produces the sound we call snoring! The most common cause of obstructions are problems with your nasal passages being too narrow or blocked up.
There are a number of other causes, however- some people snore because their tongue is too big for the space in the mouth, or they have extra tissue inside their throat which vibrates when you breathe. Snoring can also happen if there’s an obstruction further down the upper airway passage- this means that your windpipe is blocked, and this can be dangerous!
If you think that your snoring is caused by an obstruction, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They’ll be able to help get rid of the problem and make sure everything’s okay!
Snoring isn’t always something serious – but if you’re worried, speak with a medical professional
Many people don’t mind their partner snoring, because they know that when it’s not an issue, the snoring is actually pretty cute. However, if you’re tired or struggling with your breathing during the night- this can be a serious problem! If you think you snore more as an older person , talk to your doctor about how best to manage your symptoms.
Can sleep apnea get worse with age?
This is a question that many people wonder about. Snoring, specifically the loud kind of snoring, can be incredibly disruptive to those sleeping near you or on either side of your bed.
We all know that as you age, your body changes. Some of those changes are welcome and others not so much. When it comes to loud snoring, this question may have an answer for some people but there is no black-and-white answer across the board.
It’s important to note that “snoring” and “sleep apnea” are not the same thing. Snoring is a sound that comes from your throat as you sleep, whereas sleep apnea refers to pauses in breathing during sleep.
There is some overlap between snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but not everyone who snores has OSA or vice versa.
One study showed that both men and women, across all age groups from 20 to 60 years old, snored more often as they aged. However, other factors besides aging also contribute to loud snoring such as alcohol consumption before bedtime or sleeping on your back which causes the jaw muscles to relax too much and obstruct airflow through the throat.
How do you treat snoring in seniors?
Two of the more common treatments for snoring are nasal strips and sprays. Nasal strips work to keep airways open by lifting up your nose so that you’re breathing through it rather than your mouth, which is another factor that can contribute to loud snoring or obstructive sleep apnea. Some anti-snore sprays contain a topical anesthetic that helps to numb the throat.
Other options for treating snoring include wearing breathing strips, using dental appliances or even surgery in severe cases of obstructive sleep disorder where there is complete blockage of airflow through the nose and/or mouth while sleeping.
Now you know why we may snore more as we get older, and the range of treatments that can help to alleviate or stop snoring.
It’s important for seniors to be aware that if they do have sleep apnea, it could lead to other health problems such as cardiovascular disease which is why getting a diagnosis from their doctor is key.
Should I use a continuous positive airway pressure machine to treat my snoring?
A continuous positive airway pressure machine, also known as CPAP, is the most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It ensures that air is flowing into your lungs while you sleep by providing a steady stream of pressurized air to keep your airways open and clear, so it’s often prescribed if lifestyle changes such as losing weight or sleeping on your side don’t work.
If you think you might have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about treatment options that could help.
Dental Sleep Medicine to reduce snoring
Dental sleep medicine is useful as a snoring cure because it affects the throat muscles that keep your airways open while sleeping.
It can be performed by a dentist or an orthodontist, and involves placing oral appliances in either to shift the jaw forward so there’s less obstruction of airflow through your throat. The treatment may also involve using other therapies such as wearing anti-snoring mouth guards or nasal strips.
If you’re interested in dental sleep medicine, your dentist will recommend an oral appliance that’s right for you to ensure optimal results.
What are the other ways to stop snoring?
There are a number of options out there designed specifically to reduce snoring and help give people who suffer from it some peace and quiet, and they don’t all involve wearing masks or investing in expensive equipment like a CPAP machine.
Some of these treatment options include:
Losing weight – Excess fat can cause the muscles that keep your airway open to relax too much during sleep which leads to snoring, so losing some pounds may be one way to go.
Reverse weight gain by exercising and eating a healthy diet, or talk to your doctor about medication you can take that will help with the process of losing weight if this is an option for you. [source from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/]
Mouth guards – These are useful as they keep your jaw in place which prevents it from dropping back while sleeping leading to increased airflow and less snoring.
Wearing an anti snoring mouth guard is also helpful as it keeps your airways open and clear which can contribute to loud snoring or sleep apnea, so if one of these issues sounds familiar to you consider using an oral appliance such as this. [source from chron.com]
Other options – These include things like nasal strips and sprays which help to open up your airways while you’re sleeping and treat chronic nasal congestion. While these can be effective, it’s important for people who suffer from other health conditions that could be made worse by snoring to get a diagnosis before trying out any treatment option such as these.
Some people also find that acupuncture is an effective way to reduce age related snoring, as it reduces muscle tension which can cause your airways to relax too much during sleep leading to noisy breathing and snoring.[source from ncbi.gov]
Getting good quality sleep every night is important for everyone, but if you’re worried about how loud or annoying your snoring is or think that your snoring is getting worse with age, it’s important to talk about these issues with your doctor.
How can I get a diagnosis?
It’s often recommended for people who snore frequently, especially if they also suffer from daytime sleepiness, experience other symptoms such as frequent waking up at night because of their loud snoring, or if their bed partner report that they snore very loudly.
If you think this could be an issue for you, talk to your doctor about the possibility of getting a sleep study done. This will help them determine what might be causing these issues and whether there are any health risks involved so it’s important not to ignore loud snoring or other symptoms.
Another option is to see a sleep specialist who will take your medical history and give you tips on how to treat any potential problems yourself, though sometimes further testing may be required depending on what they find in their evaluation.
Take Away for the elderly snorer
Get plenty of exercise and practice good sleeping habits like going to bed at the same time every night and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals before bed. In some cases a sleep study may be recommended as well so it’s important to speak with your doctor about these issues if you’re concerned that they might affect you or someone close to you.
If the snoring has been going on for more than three months then it is likely that it has become a habit, but this doesn’t mean that the issue can’t be treated.
There are also other treatment options available that can help to reduce snoring and sleep apnea, including: Losing weight (e.g., when you gain weight, it causes the muscles around your airway to relax too much during sleep); Wearing a mouth guard; Using nasal strips or sprays; Taking supplements such as magnesium or vitamin B; Wearing a chin strap to keep the jaw in place while you’re sleeping.
Which treatment works best is different for everyone as it depends on what’s causing your snoring, but if any of these options sound like something that could help then talk with your doctor about whether they might be right for you and take some of the steps you can to aim for a healthy sleep immediately.
Getting good quality sleep is important for everyone, but getting diagnosed with a problem like sleep apnea can help people find ways to manage their symptoms and get enough rest every night so they feel great all day long! Try some of these tips now or talk about them with your doctor if you think they might be right for you.