Snoring is a troublesome, annoying noise made by a person during sleep due to improper breathing.
Almost 30% of the population suffers from snoring.
Here is a quick video that explains what snoring is & how it’s caused:
Snoring is more common in men than women, as men have narrower throats than women. It affects some children also.
Snoring is of several types, mild snoring, severe snoring and sleep apnea.
Snoring generally makes a loud and unpleasant and discomforting sound.
Generally a person sleeping alone doesn’t come to know that he/she is suffering from snoring.
Snoring is vibrations of soft tissues in throat like uvula, soft palate, adenoids and tonsils. Sleep apnea is the severest form of snoring in which the person’s breathing gets blocked, so the person wakes up frequently to breathe. However, the person doesn’t remember waking up.
Snoring is not just a nuisance. It has lot of ramifications like a sleepless partner, unhappy marital life, hypertension, sleepiness during day, loss of productivity, high blood pressure, stroke, weaker immune system etc. the sleepiness during day is generally because either the person is awakened by his own snoring noise or the partner wakes up due to jostling by the partner.
Most of the time the snorer is not aware of waking up they are involved in the various stages of sleep. Studies indicate that snoring causes strain in relationship, and there is an inverse relationship between frequency of sexual activity in partners and snoring.
The cause of snoring is that the breathing passage is blocked. The blockage may be because of tongue falling in throat, relaxation of throat, mispositioned jaw, throat congestion by fat in obese people, nasal deformities like deviated septum, enlarged adenoids and tonsils etc. There are lots of home remedies and other medical remedies available to cure snoring.
The simplest cure for snoring is to sleep on side. Sleeping on the back causes the soft palate and uvula to distend into the throat and block it. Sleeping on the side removes this congestion. This generally cures snoring in mild snorers. This can be achieved by keeping a tennis ball in the back pocket, which causes discomfort to the person whenever he tries to sleep on his back.
Reducing obesity and increasing aerobic activities also benefit a lot. It is beneficial to quit smoking also. Avoid eating heavy food, milk products, sleeping pills and antihistamines before sleeping. Nasal decongestants are also beneficial.
Studies have shown that playing didgeridoo on a regular basis gives exercise to throat and reduce snoring. Didgeridoo is an Australian wind instrument and can be bought in musical instrument stores or online.
If the above methods do not help, there are medical methods:
• CPAP – Continuous Positive Air Pressure: In this a mask is put on the snorers mouth which provides continuous air pressure in throat. Results generally are good.
• Appliances: A variety of dental appliances, jaw positioners, nasal sprays & nasal clips, oral devices are available which help in alleviating snoring.
• Surgical Methods: They are called thermal ablation palatoplasty. In these the throat congestion is removed by surgical methods. They include methods like Bipolar Cautery, Laser Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty and Somnoplasty. Surgical methods require anesthesia except Somnoplasty.
• Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy: They are generally used to reduce snoring problems in children.