What Causes Snoring and its Treatment?
‘There ain't no way to find out why a snorer can't hear himself snore ’~ Mark Twain
Snoring arises due to obstructed breathing. This can be caused by infections like cold or by an anatomical deformity in the nose or throat. However, the most common cause of snoring is, that the muscles in and around the throat relax too much when we are asleep due to which the opening in the throat becomes narrow and air has difficulty in passing. This turbulent airflow causes tissues of the nose and throat to vibrate and the noise produced by these vibrations is called snoring.
It is estimated that 45% of men and 30% of women snore on a regular basis. Snoring worsens with weight gain and age.
Snoring is a sign of troubled breathing during sleep. It can cause sleep deprivation. Breathing becomes irregular due to snoring. There is a temporary pause in breathing while snoring. These pauses can last up to 10 seconds and can be repeated several times during the night. This means that the body does not get the desired oxygen supply during this period and one does not feel fresh after waking up despite a well-rested period of sleep. It may lead to daytime drowsiness, irritability, lack of concentration and sometimes even decreased libido.
It is important to find out if snoring is a primary problem or is related to any other underlying disease.
Snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Research shows that people with OSA have an increased risk of suffering from hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and strokes.
Latest research has also associated loud snoring with the development of carotid artery narrowing due to atherosclerosis. Carotid artery supplies blood to the brain from the heart.
Snoring can be a nuisance and disturb another person if he or she sleeps in the same room and deprive them of sleep. Anothny Burgess quite rightly says – ‘Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.’
The treatment of snoring can include non-surgical options or surgical options. It may mean weight reduction, using dental devices or nasal CPAP device. Currently radio-frequency energy or laser also is being used. More importantly a person who snores can follow the following to avoid snoring -
- Avoid alcohol before going to bed.
- Weight loss.
- Quit smoking.
- Establish regular sleeping patterns.
- Sleep on your side rather than your back.
- Take a nasal decongestant before bed to relieve nasal congestion.
- Try sleeping without a pillow.
Latest Publications and Research on Snoring[Symptoms during sleep among patients with obstructive sleep apnea]. - Published by PubMed
Hypoventilation disproportionate to OSAS severity in children with Prader-Willi syndrome. - Published by PubMed
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and olfactory perception: An OERP study. - Published by PubMed
[Alterations of respiratory resistance in patients with obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome]. - Published by PubMed
[The prevalence of snoring and its association with academic performance among school-aged children in Beijing]. - Published by PubMed