Snoring is no joke, especially if you're the one trying to sleep on the other side of the bed. Here's author and leading ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Jordan Josephson with some tips to stop snoring.
I'm Lisa Birnbach. If you live with someone who snores, you know it is no joke. It disrupts sleep and can wreck relationships. Is there anything that can be done to stop snoring? With us to answer that question is Dr. Jordan Josephson, a leading ear, nose, and throat specialist in New York. Dr. Josephson, I once did that. It's miserable.
It is miserable. It's miserable for both of you, because the person snoring wakes the other person up, and then they're cranky, and they're annoying the other person. It's the number one medical cause for divorce or breakups of relationships.
Now, is there something that can be done to stop snoring?
It's very important to figure out why you snore. Snoring can be caused from anything, from the tip of the nose, a blockage from the tip of the nose, all the way to the back of the throat. And then certainly as you gain weight going out, the inside airway gains weight going in, so it narrows. So if you're overweight, losing weight is very, very important. Not an easy thing to do, but it's a good thing to do for a lot of different reasons, your health in general, your knees, and your snoring, and potentially your sleep apnea.
But not all snorers are overweight.
They're not, and sometimes snorers are thin. And if that's the case, then weight in those people is not a problem. But maybe they broke their nose when they played sports, or when they had a fight with their sibling, or fell off a bicycle when they were younger, and they're not breathing through their nose right, or maybe their palate is floppy. So there's various different areas. Maybe their tonsils are enlarged, and that's blocking the airway. Maybe their adenoids in a child are large, so there's no airway there. So wherever the blockage is, you have to resolve that blockage, and then if you can resolve that blockage, and it could be even a blockage in the sinuses, then the snoring should go away.
Would alcohol intake at night affect snoring, and what about sleeping pills?
Absolutely. Anything that relaxes the musculature in your body will make everything flaccid, and when it becomes limp, it can collapse more easily, and so that will actually magnify any problem that you have. So for people that snore and have sleep apnea, drinking's probably not a real good idea.
If you're a snorer but you're not afflicted with sleep apnea, what can you do, and where do you go for treatment?
Well, certainly you want to go to an ear, nose, and throat specialist that specializes in nasal, snoring, and sleep apnea problems. That's number one. Number two is what can you do right off the bat if you know you can't breathe through your nose, you may want to go to your pharmacy and pick up a Breathe Right Strip. Tape it across the tip of your nose, not the bridge of your nose, so that it gets your nostrils to flare. If that resolves your problem, then you've made some of the diagnosis for that specialist already.
You may decide to live with it that way, and if that does the trick, great. If it's a weight problem, if you lose weight, and patients come in and say, look, I'm 240, and every time I drop down to 195, snoring disappears. You're really the detective. The doctor's really the person that's trying to put it in sequence to figure out what's wrong with you, but together you have to form a team, and figure out where the problems lie.
If you live alone, you're going to have a harder time knowing about it, because people who snore completely have no idea.
If you have had sleep apnea for a long time and it's crept up on you, you may not realize that you're really fatigued, because you may think that's normal.
People say, well, I'm always tired. Isn't that normal? I'm getting older. Well, as you get older, you're incidents of snoring and sleep apnea also increase.
Now why is that? Because of the limpness of the--
The change in your body. I mean, it usually affects men first, and then as women, their hormones change, and they become more testosterone positive and estrogen negative.
Then what happens is their body morphs into more of a body that will make you more prone to snoring and sleep apnea. So typically, it occurs in women later, but it's really important for everybody to address. And if you're feeling tired during the day and run down, maybe it's time to go and speak to somebody, and say, hey, maybe I do have snoring and sleep apnea, and get a test, or maybe you need to put the tape recorder by the side of the bed and listen to it the next day.
OK. Thank you so much, Dr. Josephson. I'm Lisa Birnbach.
Howdini is life’s little instruction manual, in HD. We’re all about bringing together the top, most respected experts in their fields to help us be the best we can be at all of the little and not-so-little challenges of our complicated lives. Howdini is the place to be for the know-how you want, when you need it. Or maybe it’s the know-how you need, when you want it. Whatever. We’re here to help. So come in and look around, won’t you?
We think you’ll love finding everything you want to learn about in one convenient place, and as we grow and add more categories and more Howdinis, you’ll be doing less surfing and more learning right here. And unlike television, Howdinis aren’t limited by time—we don’t have to break for commercials, and we’re always on.
Who is Howdini?
People often ask us, is there an actual person who is Howdini? And the answer is, it’s kind of like Lassie. Just as there were many Lassies, there are many individuals who are called Howdini. In fact, each of our experts is a Howdini, and, like all those Lassies, they really know their tricks. (Although so far there is no ‘How to tell your master that Timmy is trapped in the old abandoned mine’ segment)
Our gurus are people you know and trust because you’ve been getting advice from them for years, at places like Good Morning America, The Today Show, Money, Prevention, and Food and Wine (to name just a few). Many are best-selling authors. Others, like our medical experts, are respected leaders in their fields.
The first Howdini was Joanna Breen, who left a comfortable career at ABC’s 20/20 to create a how to video website after one too many frustrating experiences with handymen who weren’t that handy. Joanna had traveled the world reporting with Barbara Walters and others on injustice, outrage, and tragedy, but now it was time to turn her talents to dealing with crises closer to home, like what do you do if you drop your diamond ring down the drain. Joanna is the quintessential can-do girl, so she didn’t find the prospect of launching a gigantic website the least bit daunting. (Ok, that last part isn’t entirely true.)
Joanna convinced an old ABC News buddy, Shelley Lewis, to join her. Shelley had supervised roughly 9.7 million helpful how to segments during a long career executive producing television shows like Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning. A self-described “info-pig” who loves all kinds of information programming, she is never happier than when she’s learning an amazing new tip that she can annoy share with everyone she knows. Needless to say, Howdini was a dream gig for her. A career woman, a wife, a mother, and author of two books, Shelley considers herself equally challenged by all the facets of her life.
Joanna and Shelley were introduced to marketing executive Alison Provost by a mutual friend who knew that Alison had what they needed - entrepreneurial experience, patience, and a checkbook that still had checks in it. Joanna and Shelley could see right away that Alison should join Howdini. They figured that they would take care of the programming, and Alison would bring trustworthy sponsors to help pay the bills. It took Alison significantly longer to be convinced, maybe because she was crazy busy running a marketing firm called PowerPact, which she continues to oversee while serving as the biggest of big cheeses at Howdini. But whether it’s playing Suduko or launching a new business in a field she knows little about, Alison loves the challenge of a good puzzle, It wasn’t long before she began dropping obscure internet terms like “user-interface” and “googlebot” into casual conversation.
What’s Next for Howdini?
Our goals are modest. Complete and total domination of the internet, crushing Google, Microsoft, and any other punks who get in our way. (Hey, it’s a just a goal.) But until then, we will content ourselves making the best, most professional, most credible how to videos you can find anywhere. We want to help you solve your career issues, your parenting problems, your money troubles. We want you to be more glamorous, healthier, and less stressed out. We want you to check Howdini every day for fun, interesting, useful advice from experts you know and trust.
We want to make Howdini the community you love to be part of every day, To do that, we need to hear from you. Please share your suggestions, rate and comment on the Howdini videos, and the blog, (The Howdini blog). Tell us what you’d like us to create for you.
And then, when we’ve achieved that, it’s back to working on complete and total domination of the internet.