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01 10 2017 3 Reasons Why Snoring Gets Worse with Age

If you’re convinced that your partner’s snoring is getting worse with age, you’re not imagining things. Snoring gets worse over time – and it can be difficult to drown out the rasping sounds escaping from your partner at night.

Reasons why snoring gets worse with age for International Day of Older Persons 2017

 

Snoring can start at any age, but it’s not normal to do so. It’s a sign that there’s an obstruction in your breathing, and that obstruction is the narrowing of your airway when you sleep. Snoring is caused by the muscles in your throat relaxing too much, and fast-travelling air being pulled through the airway. This results in the soft tissue in the back of your throat becoming dehydrated and vibrating. The sounds this makes is what we call snoring.

So why does snoring get worse as we get older?

1) Your muscle tone is decreasing.

Although people can snore at any age, those over 35 have a bigger risk of snoring. With age comes wisdom – and also decreased muscle tone all over your body, including your throat. This means that you might not have the muscular tension needed to keep your airways open properly during the night.

2) We tend to put on weight.

The pattern of weight gain changes as we get older, and we often gain weight around the neck. This makes your airway narrower when you’re lying down at night, making it harder to breathe properly.

3) The menopause is kicking in.

For women, hormonal changes can cause snoring (or make snoring even worse). You’re more at risk of developing sleep apnoea too – estrogen and progesterone maintain your airway’s muscle tone and keep it from collapsing. As these hormone levels drop, the risk of sleep apnoea (where your airway closes up completely) increases.

 

 

How do you treat snoring?

There are many options you can try that will help treat snoring. Nasal strips, throat sprays and lozenges all make it easier to breathe. Simple lifestyle changes can also help, such as exercising if you’re overweight.

But it’s also important to look for signs of sleep apnoea if you snore. Sleep apnoea is more common in older adults, and can be a very serious condition. While simple snoring is your throat narrowing, sleep apnoea closes it up completely for around 10-30 seconds at a time. Look out for: daytime sleepiness, gasping/choking in the night, headaches and insomnia.

A CPAP machine is often recommended by doctors for sufferers of sleep apnoea. This helps increase air pressure in the throat so the airway doesn’t collapse. But other options are becoming more popular, such as using an oral device to gently hold your jaw in the right position while you sleep. Doing this opens your airway and helps you breathe easily again. Oral devices can be used to treat both snoring AND sleep apnoea – click here to find out more.

If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, try and see your doctor as soon as you can. Your health (and your sleep) are worth it!

 

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Question

Would you like to take a brief questionnaire to see your sleep aponea risk levels?

Yes
No
Question One of Eight

Complete the following clinically approved screening questionnaire to find out if you are at risk of suffering from sleep apnoea.

Do you snore loudly? (Louder than talking, or loud enough to be heard through closed doors)

Yes
No
Question Two of Eight

Do you often feel tired, fatigued, or sleepy during daytime?

Yes
No
Question Three of Eight

Gender - Are you male?

Yes
No
Question Four of Eight

Has anyone observed you stop breathing during your sleep?

Yes
No
Question Five of Eight

Do you have or are you being treated for high blood pressure?

Yes
No
Question Six of Eight

Body Mass Index (BMI) more than 35?

Yes
No
Question Seven of Eight

Are you over the age of 50?

Yes
No
Question Eight of Eight

Is your neck circumference greater than: Male - 17" or 43cm? Female - 15" or 41cm?

Yes
No
Question Eight of Eight

You are at
risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).