Why does my elderly parent snore?

It is not unusual to hear an elderly parent snore, and while it can be a disturbance to family members, it can also be an indication of more serious health issues. Surprisingly, it can even be a sign that your loved one suffers from depression. When it is coupled with personality changes due to lack of sleep, it can increase of the risk of certain conditions such as a stroke. Before jumping to any assumptions, it is important to do some research, possibly speak with your loved one’s physician to find out why your elderly parent snores and what you can and should do about it.

Snoring is caused by some degree of obstruction in your breathing. It is important to know that snoring is not a breathing disorder, it is cause by a throat issue. The sounds you hear come from the turbulence cause by the air you breathe being forced through a narrower space. Medical professionals say that snoring is not normal at any age. When you are elderly you are at a greater risks of health complications due to age and if you snore there is more reason for concern. Although most just snoring a minor disturbance, it is important to realize that it is not normal and it should be monitored carefully.

Why does snoring get worse as we age?

There are many reasons why people snore, and why it may get worse as we get older. An increase in snoring is often related to weight gain or a result of prescription medications. Other common reasons why people snore include:

  • Mouth breathing due to nasal congestion or partial obstruction with a deviated septum
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Narcotic substance use or abuse
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids

What are the treatment options for snoring?

Fortunately, there are many over-the-counter options available for snoring. These products aim to make breathing easier when you sleep, thus eliminating snoring. Treatment options include: nasal strips, sprays, nasal humidifiers, snoring pillows, and positional devices. If weight is the cause, diet and exercise plans may be the best treatment option for snoring.

Although most cases of an elderly parent snoring can be treated with over the counter products or lifestyle changes, they don’t always work. In more severe cases, snoring can be a sign of a serious condition called sleep apnea. Anyone who snores should be tested for sleep apnea as it can be very dangerous. Sleep apnea is defined by Mayo Clinic as a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Testing, treating, and monitoring sleep apnea is easy and should be done to prevent further medical issues.

At Paradise Living Centers, we provide 24/7 awake care and monitor any changes in sleep patterns, including snoring and other sleep disruptions. We are committed to providing the best care and services for our residents as they age. For questions regarding our assisted group homes in Phoenix and Paradise Valley and the care services we are so proud to provide, visit our website or call us at (480)878 -4112.