Snoring is a sleep disorder that has many potential causes. Among the ones that we haven’t appreciated in the past is traffic pollution. Unfortunately, a new study shows that traffic pollution can make a significant contribution to your snoring risk.

Traffic jam in a busy city

Compared to Cigarette Smoking

Researchers associated with the European Respiratory Society (ERS) realized that traffic pollution and cigarette smoke are very similar in their effects on the respiratory system. Living near a major road can have the same impact on your respiratory system as smoking 10 cigarettes (half a pack) a day. Since secondhand smoke has been shown to increase your risk of snoring, they postulated that traffic pollution might do the same.

Researchers had access to data from a large number of people, over 12,000 in Northern Europe that they could correlate with living addresses to determine whether these people lived in high-pollution areas. They found that about 25% of the men studied were snorers, and that they were significantly more likely to snore if they lived near a major road. Coincidentally, 25% of women reported difficulty sleeping, and they were significantly more likely to report daytime sleepiness if they lived near a major road.

Although this research is preliminary, it seems to confirm suspicions that pollution can be a significant factor in snoring risk.

Control Air Quality to Reduce Snoring

If you are looking to reduce your snoring, you should consider the air quality in your home. Of course, one of the biggest things you can do to improve air quality is to quit smoking or to encourage your partner to quit smoking. That should help reduce snoring in the house.

Other steps you can take to improve indoor air quality include:

Control pollution sources inside. Indoor air quality is significantly influenced by indoor sources of air pollution. In addition to smoking, try to reduce or eliminate the use of toxic household cleaners that can give off fumes that will irritate your respiratory tract. Mold can also contribute to poor air quality. Keeping the air dry in your house can reduce the growth of mold.

Filter out pollutants. Air filters can help remove many of the contaminants in air, especially particulates. But it’s important to understand the capabilities of your air filters. Buy filters that are rated to remove the particles of concern. And change your filters regularly to help them function. Close the house during heavy traffic. Most roads have regular patterns of traffic that will peak at certain times of day. Close your house during these times, including your windows and doors. Make sure any air intakes from air conditioners or house fans have a good filter. When possible, move these so they are not so near the road.

Clean accumulated grime. The stuff accumulating on your tables, shelves, and knick knacks isn’t just dust. It’s also pollution emitted from traffic and other sources. These particles can continue to emit toxic gasses and can be disturbed into the air if they’re not regularly removed from surfaces.

Keep these surfaces clean, and that includes your floor–shoes and boots can track in roadside pollutants.

Reduce exposure out of the house. And, of course, you have to be aware that you are exposed to many pollutants when you’re outside the house. The worst situation is when you’re walking along a major road at rush hour. At the level of the road and sidewalk, your exposure is much higher. If you can’t avoid walking near these roads at these times, consider wearing a filtering mask.

Still Snoring?

Of course, pollution is just one factor contributing to your snoring. If this, and other lifestyle changes don’t control your snoring, you may need professional snoring treatment.

If you’re looking for snoring treatment, please call (201) 343-4044 today for an appointment with sleep dentist Dr. Martin Martirossian at River Edge Dental, New Jersey’s center for TMJ, sleep apnea, & reconstructive dentistry.