Snoring in Seniors: 4 Reasons It May Worsen With Age

By on February 18, 2019

Many bodily changes take place as you age, but there are some that may be more damaging than others. One of the most common is the development of sleep disorders, especially once you enter your senior years. Insomnia, shorter REM cycles, and waking during the night may all occur; however, the development or worsening of snoring can be especially troubling, but before you can find a solution, it is important to understand what might be causing this problem and why aging plays a part.

1. Weight Gain

As you age, your metabolism tends to slow and you may gain weight more easily. As your weight increases, fat may grow around the neck area and cause your throat to become narrower. The added fat also replaces muscle, which tends to contribute to the noises associated with snoring.

Daily exercise and a nutritious diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent increased snoring. Ask your physician about a program that is suitable for your age and current health concerns.

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2. Sleep Apnea

Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, which is causes a disruption in your breathing when sleeping. During an episode, your airway closes completely and your brain is deprived of oxygen for several seconds at a time. When this happens, you are likely to awaken each time because your brain then sends signals to the body that you need more air.

Sleep apnea can be dangerous and can lead to or complicate chronic illnesses, such as type two diabetes and mood disorders. If you find yourself waking often and suddenly during the night, it is a good idea to discuss the problem with your doctor.

3. Physical Changes in the Throat

Your body changes as you age, and certain muscles are likely to become less toned over time, including the ones in your throat. Changes in strength or shape can increase the noises your throat makes when you are asleep, which might lead to heavier snoring. There might not be many solutions to this issue, but working to tone your neck and throat with daily exercises could decrease the volume of your snores.

If you smoke, you may be causing other types of physical changes in your throat, such as the development of cysts and tumors. Consider patches or other smoking cessation tools to protect your throat’s interior from harm.

4. Sinus Problems

If you have struggled with seasonal allergies and sinus issues during your life, you might find they get worse as you age. While snoring occurs in the throat, the sinuses can also affect the way you breathe when you are asleep, especially when you are congested. The more congestion you feel, the more likely you are to snore.

Rhinoplasty surgery may be an effective solution to serious sinus problems. Reshaping the nose to repair a former injury or opting for sinus surgery during cosmetic surgery may resolve these problems and stop chronic snoring.

Growing older with grace can be difficult when heavy snoring disrupts the sleep of everyone in your home. However, there are solutions that may stop this troubling and annoying issue for good and help you get a good night’s rest.

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Snoring in Seniors: 4 Reasons It May Worsen With Age