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Treatments for Snoring
How is snoring treated?
You may be able to treat snoring by making changes in your lifestyle and in the way you prepare for sleep. For example:
- Lose weight if you're overweight.
- Go to bed at the same time every night, and get plenty of sleep.
- Sleep on your side, not on your back. Try sewing a pocket in the middle of the back of your pajama top, putting a tennis ball into the pocket, and stitching it closed. This will help keep you from sleeping on your back.
- Limit your use of alcohol and medicines such as sedatives before you go to bed.
- Quit smoking.
- Raise the head of your bed 4 in. (10 cm) to 6 in. (15 cm) by putting bricks under the legs of the bed. (Using pillows to raise your head and upper body won't work.)
- Promptly treat breathing problems, such as a stuffy nose caused by a cold or allergies.
- Try a nasal dilator to help keep your airway open. This is a device, such as nose strips or disks, that you attach to the outside of your nose while you sleep. Nose strips widen the nostrils and improve airflow. Nasal disks create back-pressure in your airways that may help keep them open.
If you have nasal congestion, you can try clearing your nasal passages or using medicines such as decongestants and nasal corticosteroid sprays. These open the airway, permitting a smoother airflow. They may reduce snoring. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Don't use the medicine longer than the label says.
Oral breathing devices sometimes can treat snoring, especially if it is caused by jaw position during sleep. These devices push the tongue and jaw forward to improve airflow.
If your bed partner is bothered by your snoring, he or she may try using earplugs or machines that play ambient music or natural sounds. These can block or cover up the noise.
Nutritional counseling can help people who snore and are overweight.
Treatment if snoring gets worse
If snoring continues, your doctor may want to examine you again to see if you have developed upper airway resistance syndrome or sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be serious. It's a sleep disorder in which you stop breathing now and then during sleep.
If you snore and have sleep apnea, your doctor may suggest continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP (say "SEE-pap"). CPAP is the standard treatment for sleep apnea. But it's not used for just snoring.
In extreme cases, surgery may be an option.
Implants that stiffen your palate can help reduce snoring. And they can help reduce the daytime sleepiness sleep apnea causes. But snoring isn't always thought to be a medical problem, so insurance may not cover treatment.
We have multiple locations to serve your needs. Visit one of our clinics to make an appointment.
Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center450 Broadway Street
Redwood City, CA 94063