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How to stop snoring

Sometimes snoring is a matter of lifestyle changes, but it can also signal a medical problem. CR Photo

If you’re one of the 37 million americans who snores, you’ll want to keep reading this report. Not only can snoring ruin your partner’s shuteye but it may also 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.

Nasal strips don’t always work. Instead try lifestyle strategies to help keep your airway open and help you stop snoring. Like easing a stuffy nose - elevating your head and sleeping on your side - avoiding alcohol at least four hours before bed - quitting smoking - and yes, also losing weight. If these steps don’t work, it’s probably time to call a doctor who can test you for obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA.

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 your doctor might prescribe continuous positive airway pressure, or C-PAP treatment, which uses a machine to increase air into your throat.

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

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

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