Consumer Reports: How to stop snoring

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About 37 million Americans snore. Not only can snoring ruin your partner's shuteye, but it may be a warning sign of a potentially life-threatening condition. (WLS)

About 37 million Americans snore. Not only can snoring ruin your partner's shuteye, but it may be a warning sign of a potentially life-threatening condition.

Consumer Reports has some important advice on how to stop snoring and on when it might be time to visit a doctor.

Is snoring wreaking havoc on your life? It can be just a benign annoyance or signal a real medical issue.

The bothersome sound usually happens when the airway is partially blocked, thanks to nasal congestion, enlarged tonsils, floppy tissue or alcohol.

So what can you do to stop your partner from making a run for the ear plugs?

"Nasal strips don't always work. Instead try lifestyle strategies to help keep your airway open and help you stop snoring," Consumer Reports Health Editor Diane Umanski said.

Like easing a stuffy nose, elevating your head and sleeping on your side, avoiding alcohol at least four hours before bed, quitting smoking and losing weight can help.

"If these steps don't work, it's probably time to call a doctor who can test you for obstructive sleep apnea or OSA," Umanski said.

OSA, marked by breathing stops and starts during sleep, occurs when something partly or completely blocks your airway. It affects 34 percent of men and 19 percent of women who snore regularly and can heighten the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia and hypertension.

An oral appliance can help keep the airway open. Or a doctor may prescribe continuous positive airway pressure, or C-PAP treatment, which uses a machine to increase air into your throat.

So don't underestimate the effects of snoring and let your partner get a good night's sleep.

If all else fails, surgery may be your only other option. Consumer Reports said to ask your doctor about procedures, which can open up the airway and help you stop snoring.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org

Related Topics:
healthconsumer reportssleep apneasleepsleep apnea remedy

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