Snoring affects millions of people worldwide. It can be an idiopathic condition or an indicator of another condition, such as sleep apnea. There are many lifestyle adjustments and snoring remedies that work to alleviate simple snoring, but if snoring is causing you or those around you serious distress, a medical professional can help determine the cause of snoring and find you appropriate treatment. Continuous airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a common treatment for snoring caused by obstructive sleep apnea.1 Using a CPAP for snoring is a known, effective method for treating snoring.
Snoring is generally the result of narrowing air passageways during sleep. This can be the result of excess amounts of tissue blocking the airways, or simply the relaxing of the throat and tongue while resting. In many cases, mild snoring can be treated through changing sleeping positions, avoiding alcohol and smoking, or treating your allergies.2 But if you suffer from noticeably loud or chronic snoring, you may have obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is usually identified by loud snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, and periodic waking during the night, which is accompanied by a feeling of choking or gasping for air. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the soft tissues of the throat block the airway, resulting in periods of receiving inadequate oxygen. This causes carbon dioxide to build up and wakes you up. Often, these periods are so brief that they go unnoticed, but the loud snoring sound that accompanies obstructive sleep apnea is anything but quiet.3
There are several ways to treat obstructive sleep apnea, but a CPAP for snoring is one of the most popular methods.
If your snoring is caused by sleep apnea, one of the best treatments is the use of CPAP therapy. CPAP machines work by providing you with a constant flow of oxygen during the night, allowing your airways to stay open and stopping the vibrations that cause excessive snoring. There are several types of CPAP machines that differ in the type of airflow you receive or the kind of facial mask used to administer oxygen.
A CPAP machine is made up of several parts. It includes a full or partial face mask, a hose or tube, and the CPAP compressor (motor).4 The compressor provides continuous air through the tube and into your face mask, preventing disruptions in breathing, snoring and repeatedly waking up.
Depending on your needs, there are several types of face masks available. Three common are: a full mask, a nasal mask, or a nasal pillow mask.5 The full-face mask covers both the nose and mouth and is recommended if you have trouble breathing through your nose or are typically a mouth breather. The nasal mask works by attaching solely to your nose and is beneficial if you move around in your sleep. Nasal pillow masks attach just under the nares (the base of the nostrils) and are recommended if other masks make you feel claustrophobic.6
When using a CPAP for snoring, it’s important to find the right mask and machine for you. An uncomfortable mask will reduce adherence and may not treat your sleep apnea correctly.
If you have sleep apnea, it is recommended to use your CPAP machine as often as possible. Inconsistent use of your CPAP machine will likely result in a return of your symptoms and signs of sleep apnea. That said, going one night without the use of your CPAP machine is not likely to have any serious health risks.
You do not necessarily have sleep apnea if you snore. There are many snoring causes. Many people suffer from simple snoring, for which there are a variety of snoring solutions and lifestyle adjustments that can help reduce and even eliminate snoring. If your snoring is particularly loud and has an ongoing impact on your life, your sleeping partner, and your energy levels, then it is advisable to see a sleep specialist to discover the source of your snoring.
The sleep mask that works best is the one that works best for you. This is dependent on several factors, including your anatomy and your sleep needs. It is important to find a mask that fits your face and needs, as the more comfortable the mask the higher the chances of adherence. Having the right mask for you increases the likelihood that you will consistently use it and benefit from CPAP treatment.
If you suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea, then using your CPAP machine long-term is advisable. This is because CPAP machines treat sleep apnea while being used and do not fix the underlying structural issues. If the CPAP machine causes you distress or discomfort, there are alternative options, such as oral appliances or surgery, that can help treat snoring caused by sleep apnea.
The majority of CPAP machines do greatly reduce or eliminate your snoring if you suffer from sleep apnea. If your snoring is not caused by sleep apnea, then there are other treatments that are less invasive and more cost effective.7 Using a CPAP for snoring is most effective if your snoring is caused by sleep apnea.
© 2021 American Sleep Association.