If you've ever been nudged in bed by your partner because you were snoring, you know that the problem is worse for them then you. You may also wake up with congestion and a dry mouth and nose because you snore. When it has gotten to be too much for you and your partner, it's time to look into ways it can be treated. The treatment depends on why the snoring sound is happening. Here are the common causes of snoring and how they are treated.

Factors That Cause Snoring

There are several anatomical issues that contribute to your snoring. The muscles relax in your airways as you sleep, allowing the soft tissue to vibrate as air moves past. Your tongue can block part of your airway, as can congestion and swollen sinuses. If the cartilage in your nose causes restriction of the airway, you can snore. The common items that trigger snoring include:

  • The soft palate in the roof of your mouth is thicker than normal.
  • The soft palate and tissues in the throat are swollen.
  • The small piece of tissue in the back of your throat, the uvula, obstructs your airway.
  • The use of alcohol relaxes tissues in the airway more than normal.
  • Nasal congestion from an illness or allergy.
  • Constricted airway from a deviated septum in the nose.

These conditions prevent air from moving smoothly. Tissues in the airway start to vibrate because of the additional pressure required to inhale and exhale. Treatments for snoring are focused on removing the obstructions and clearing the airway.

Treating Your Snoring

There are a number of ways to treat snoring, ranging from simple over-the-counter methods to rhinoplasty (nasal surgery). You may need to try several approaches until you find the one that consistently prevents your snoring.

  • Anti-snoring strips - These plastic strips attach to your nose to spread the nostrils out wider. This can open up the nasal passages a small amount if you have a deviated septum and your airway is limited. These are available at your local drug store.
  • Oral appliances - These fit into your mouth to prevent your tongue and soft palate from blocking your airway. Some versions can be purchased over-the-counter. Your doctor can give you a prescription for more durable custom-fit models.
  • Mouth and throat surgery - Tissue is trimmed away from the soft palate and your throat to reduce the vibration and sound. This can be done using traditional surgical techniques as an inpatient or using laser surgery in an outpatient clinic.
  • Rhinoplasty - This surgery reshapes the cartilage that makes up the central structure of your nose. If the cartilage is bent or twisted to one side of the nose, the airway becomes blocked. This surgery opens up the nasal passages so you can breathe easier.

Talk with your doctor and get evaluated as to what is the cause of your snoring. Get started with one or more treatment options and treat your partner to a quiet night's sleep.