Does Snoring Trouble You? Here Are The Solutions!

Overview | Reason | Levels of snoring | Causes | Symptoms | Risk factors | Diagnosis | Treatment | Remedial tips

Are you one of those whose loved ones often complain about your snoring habits?

One can snore, unknowingly. Men are 50 % more likely to have snoring issues in comparison to women.

Let’s know about snoring, so that’s it will never disturb your loved one’s sleep.

What is Snoring?

Snoring is the sound produced through the nose or mouth while sleeping. When our upper airways get narrow too much and cause turbulent airflow while breathing. Due to this, the surrounding tissues vibrate and produce noise, this phenomenon is called snoring. The sound produced due to narrow vassal passage or in the back of our throat. People who have excess throat and nasal tissues snore much. Snoring is affected by the stage of sleep, sleeping positions, medications, and alcohol.

Although, snoring is not a big issue. But it can be an alarming sign that there is something wrong with your body.

Why do people snore?

When we breathe, air flows in and out in a steady stream between our nose, mouth, and our lungs. Generally, we are unable to hear any kind of sound while breathing because then, the air flows steadily in and out of our nose and throat. But while sleeping, the area at the back of the throat gets narrow or may even close temporarily; because while sleeping our muscles get relaxed. When the same amount of air passes through this small opening more rapidly, then the surrounding tissues of the nose start vibrating. Which in turn produces a sound, known as snoring. The narrowing can be in the nose, mouth, or throat. When an individual has nose obstruction and starts breathing through his/her mouth, then make the snoring even worse. The snoring sound produced by a person may increase with the increase in age.

Levels of snoring:

4k video footage of a young woman covering her ears with a pillow while her husband snores in bed

Mainly, there are two levels of snoring –

  • Respiratory effort-related arousal ( RERA) – When the obstruction to airflow increases, our body has to make efforts to maintain adequate ventilation and breathing. So that, the level of oxygen in the air could not decrease. This is called respiratory effort-related arousal ( RERA).
  • In the above case, when the obstruction increases further; the efforts made by our body to make the ventilation and breathing normally become weak. This makes the breathing problematic and called obstructive hypopneas ( reduced breath) or apneas ( absent breathing). And the condition is known as obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome.

Causes of Snoring:

Snoring occurs due to the relaxation of the uvula and soft palate. Some of the causes of snoring are as follows:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Lifestyle factors, such as body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, etc.
  • Throat weakness, which blocks the throat while sleeping.
  • Obesity, as the fat gets deposited in and around the throat.
  • Obstruction in the nasal passageway.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Throat relaxing drug
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Disposition jaw
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sleep on one’s back, which results in the tongue dropping to the back of the mouth.
  • Smoking
  • Use of muscle relaxing or depressants
  • Congestion because of cold or allergy
  • A deviated septum or other structural features
  • Being middle age
  • Males are more likely to snore in comparison to women
  • Genetic characteristics affecting the structure of the mouth and throat.
  • Pregnancy
  • Tonsils
  • Sinus
  • Sleep position

Facts:

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, around 40 % of adult males and 24 % of adult females snore regularly. Young adults are more likely to snore in comparison to those who are aged over 70 years.

Symptoms of Snoring:

If a person snores, then he /she may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If one has any of the symptoms mentioned below with snoring, he or she may have OSA —

  • Pause in breathing while sleeping
  • Feeling sleepy during daytime
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Experiencing headache in the morning
  • Sore throat upon awakening
  • Chest pain at night
  • Restless sleep
  • Choking at night
  • Gasping at night
  • High blood pressure
  • The loud sound of snoring

Risk factors:

Risk factors that contribute in snoring –

  • Being men
  • Obesity
  • Having narrow airways
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Nasal problems
  • Hereditary
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Complications of snoring:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Periodic anger or frustration
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart diseases
  • Stroke
  • Behavioral problems

Diagnosis:

  1. Imaging tests like CT scan, X-ray, MRI, etc.
  2. Sleep study: In this, the doctor will observe your blood waves, blood oxygen level, breathing rate, heart rate, eye movement, leg movement, and sleep stages.

Treatment of snoring:

The treatment of snoring is divided into two parts – surgical and non – surgical.

Surgical and non – surgical treatment –

  • Positive airway pressure machine
  • Dental appliances
  • Orthopedic pillows
  • Palatial implants – This treatment is also known as pillar procedure. In this, up to three match stick size plastic stiffening rods are implanted into the soft panel. These soft panels help to stop snoring while sleeping as it prevents the collapse of the soft palate.
  • Septoplasty
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty
  • Radiofrequency stiffens
  • Behavioral changes — It includes weight loss, changing sleep positions, quitting smoking and alcohol, and changing medications.
  • Nasal devices and medications
  • Over-the-counter products
  • Nasal surgery etc.

Remedies and tips to get rid of snoring:

  • Avoid alcohol and sedating medications
  • Relieving nasal obstruction
  • Changing and elevating sleep position
  • Weight management
  • Oral appliances
  • Throat exercises
  • Avoid smoking
  • Try to get a full tight sleep
  • Use nasal strips
  • Treat chronic allergies
  • Correct structural problems in your nose
  • Use oral appliances
  • Use a Continuous positive airway pressure ( CPAP) machine
  • Wear palatial implants
  • If needed, go for radiofrequency tissue ablation. Also known as somnoplasty
  • Change your bad lifestyle habits into good ones.
  • Go to sleep every day at the same time.
  • Treat ongoing nasal congestion
  • Make sure to have your meal at least 1 to 2 hours before going to bed.
  • Elevate your head at least 4 inches with the help of an extra pillow

Try all these tips to treat your snoring problem. Snoring is not a very serious problem, in fact, it’s one of the common health issues. But if not treated in time, it may lead to serious health problems. So don’t avoid the symptoms if you have any, go straight to a specialist to get yourself treated.

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