Many people snore a bit during the nighttime hours. But this snoring is usually not seen as much of a problem until it becomes loud enough to disturb others. Most people do not know the causes or the risks involved with heavy or chronic snoring. However, it is important to understand that some heavy snorers are suffering from a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA.
Symptoms of OSA
People with questions regarding what is chronic snoring should first understand that not all heavy snorers are OSA sufferers. But, if a heavy snorer also experiences one or more of the following symptoms, he or she should talk with a physician.
- Pauses in breathing while sleeping
- Excessive sleeping in the daytime hours
- Concentration struggles
- Headaches in the morning
- Sore throats in the morning
- Night time chest pain
- Choking or gasping throughout the night
- High blood pressure
OSA sufferers often snore loudly for some time and then become quiet as their breathing slows or stops momentarily. These alternating patterns often continue for some time and may eventually force a chronic snorer to awake suddenly. The individual often awakens with a loud gasp or snort.
Chronic Snoring Risk Factors
People that snore loud each night despite suffering from no diagnosed health conditions may only be chronic snorers. When considering what is chronic snoring, it is important to know the conditions is many times not as serious as a full-blown case of OSA. However, this condition can be dangerous for some people and increases the risk of developing heart disease, chronic fatigue, and type 2 diabetes.
Multiple factors can contribute to individuals developing a problem with chronic snoring:
- Weight gain – Extra weight can cause fat to accumulate at the back of the throat. This extra weight can hinder the flow of air and become a cause of chronic snoring or OSA.
- Advanced age – Muscle and other throat tissue relaxes and grows softer with age.
- Mouth issue – Problems or issues with the tongue, palate, or uvula can become the source of restricted airways. Irregularities with tonsils can also make cause a person to become a chronic snorer.
- Nasal problems – People who suffer from chronic congestion or other issues with their nasal passages will need their lungs to work harder. The additional effort necessary to move the air through the appropriate pathways can cause the person to snore. This condition is known as chronic sinusitis.
- Medicine and alcohol – The muscle relaxation that happens after consuming alcohol or taking some medicines can cause a person to snore at night.
Help for Chronic Snoring
The solutions to address chronic snoring include several simple life changes that will also protect an individual from the risk factors that result from chronic snoring. The following solutions may also protect the person from later developing obstructive OSA.
- Eat healthy
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Develop a regular sleep routine
- Sleep in positions other than on the back
When to See a Doctor
Individuals who try the above remedies to no avail or possess one or more of the earlier mentioned symptoms, along with snoring, may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. OSA sufferers will likely need more help than the simple lifestyle moderations listed above. The first step to discovering what solutions are necessary is a consultation with a professional sleep apnea specialist regarding treatment. These professionals may suggest remedies for chronic snoring like anti-snoring apps and devices as well as nasal and oral appliances.