Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can a different pillow solve my snoring issue?"
I have always been a bad snorer and have tried most things. Someone suggested a different pillow. Could this be the cause of my problems?
I doubt that a pillow will "fix" your snoring. When you think about your airway, in very basic terms from the voice box (larynx) down to the lungs it is relatively rigid (cartilaginous) and can't collapse easily. However your airway from your larynx to your lips is more like a muscular tube. When you are awake the muscle has tone and stays open easily. When you fall asleep that tube loses some of the muscle tone and becomes "floppy". The soft tissue flopping when you breath in is what causes the snoring sound. Sometimes this can be positional, and typically if it is, it is worse when lying supine because your tongue base will prolapse posteriorly with gravity and partially obstruct your airway making the issue worse. An important thing to discern is whether you have purely a snoring problem which is not detrimental to your health, or whether you have obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a similar problem of floppy tissue, except that your airway can totally collapse while sleeping causing your oxygen levels to drop which can have significant negative health affects over time. I would recommend that you see an ENT or a sleep specialist to get evaluated and maybe get a sleep study. I hope this helps.
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