How GERD is Linked to Snoring
Many people do not know that snoring can actually be caused by acid reflux. GERD’s repetitive nature can even cause health problems, making it essential that you have your issue diagnosed before it can become serious.
In this article, we will be discussing the link between GERD and snoring. We will also help you find various solutions to your acid reflux problem. So let’s take a look at how GERD is linked to snoring and what you can do about it.
What Is GERD?
GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease is characterized by stomach acid flowing into the tube between the mouth and stomach. It is most commonly known as acid reflux, and it can lead to the irritation of the lining of your esophagus.
Most people will have to deal with acid reflux a few times in their lives. GERD can affect people moderately once or twice a week. In more severe cases, people might have very intense acid reflux episodes that can leave them with burning chest pain.
GERD is usually a very manageable disease that can be treated with over-the-counter medications, such as antacids. However, some people may need powerful medications or surgery to ease their discomfort.
Acid reflux can occur at any time of the day, but it is usually worse at night or when the person is sleeping. This is because it is easier for the acid to reflux when they are in a sleeping position.
Snoring And GERD – What is the Connection?
When you experience reflux during the daytime, gravity assists in pulling the acid down. This means that you could be walking or sitting down and experience very mild acid reflux. The liquid usually only reaches the middle of your chest before it is pulled back down into the stomach.
However, as we have mentioned, acid reflux is much worse during the night. When you lay in bed, gravity does not assist in pulling your stomach acid downwards. This means that when your GERD acts up, and the acid travels up your esophagus, it could reach your soft palate and the back of your neck.
This irritates the tissue. You would even experience a slight swelling, which leads to your airway becoming obstructed. For this reason, you begin snoring.
Occasional acid reflux would only lead to snoring when you experience a flare-up. However, if you suffer from GERD, you may experience snoring every single night. Your soft tissue can become damaged if it is exposed to stomach acid often enough.
How To Prevent Snoring Caused By GERD
There are a few things that you could do to prevent snoring caused by acid reflux. For starters, you will want to improve your health by doing the following:
Additionally, you can follow the advice below to help prevent GERD snoring.
Sleep At An Angle
You could also try sleeping at an angle. As we have mentioned, gravity helps prevent the acid from rising up your esophagus when you are standing or sitting up. At night, you should try to elevate your head and shoulders to use gravity to your advantage as much as you can. Many people even use a recliner to sleep at night. However, there are also wedge-shaped pillows that should be able to help.
Don’t Lie Down After You Eat
You should never lie down directly after eating a meal. As a general rule, you should wait about three hours after finishing a meal before you sleep or rest in a lying position.
Eat Slowly And Chew Your Food Properly
Eating your food too quickly can trigger acid reflux. For this reason, you must try to eat your meals as slowly as possible, especially if you have GERD. It is recommended that you put your fork down after every bite of food and only pick it up again once you have finished chewing. This way, you will automatically be forced to eat your food slower.
You should also ensure that you chew your food properly before swallowing. This assists in reducing the amount of stress that you put on your esophagus. It also makes it much easier for your stomach to break down your meals.
Avoid Foods That Trigger Acid Reflux
There are various foods and drinks that can trigger acid reflux. We have already mentioned that you should limit the amount of alcohol that you consume. Spicy foods, such as onion, garlic, and pepper, can increase your risk of experiencing acid reflux. Coffee, soda, and citrus products can also trigger the condition.
Acid Reflux Medications
There are a few medications that you can take to ease or prevent your acid reflux caused by GERD. These include:
Prescription-strength H-2-receptor blockers
These medications include Pepcid. However, if they are taken for long periods, you could eventually experience a vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Prescription-strength proton pump inhibitors
These medications include Nexium, Prevacid, and Protonix. Some side-effects might consist of headaches and nausea.
Medication to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter
An example of this medication is Baclofen. Fatigue and nausea are common side-effects of this type of medication.
GERD and acid reflux can cause snoring. If left untreated for a long time, the rising of stomach acid can damage the soft tissue in the throat. For this reason, your GERD must be diagnosed before it becomes serious.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is characterized by stomach acid flowing into the tube between the mouth and stomach. As we have mentioned, the acid can damage the soft tissue in the throat, which leads to it swelling slightly. This swelling blocks the airway and causes snoring.
There are various ways in which you can treat GERD and ease your snoring. For example, you should limit the amount of alcohol that you drink as it can trigger acid reflux. Sleeping at an angle can also prevent stomach acid from rising into your throat. Additionally, there are medications, such as Baclofen, Nexium, and Pepcid, that you can take to treat the condition.