What is snoring?
Snoring is the sound one makes while sleeping when as we breathe, the uvula and the soft palate in the roof of the mouth relax and vibrate due to passing air. The uvula is the small mass of tissue that hangs down from the middle of the soft palate. Snoring is more common among men than among women, but doctors are unsure why this discrepancy exists.
What are its causes and concerns?
Snoring may happen as a result of various reasons and it is treatable in most cases. Some causes of snoring have been listed below:
- Obstructive sleep apnea – a serious medical condition, is a major cause of snoring. It refers to a condition where a person experiences anywhere around 30-300 pauses in breathing in the course of a night. Each of these pauses may last for as long as 10 seconds, which means that the person stops breathing for 10 seconds several times during the night. These pauses are caused by the collapsing and narrowing of the airway. As a result of this, the blood’s oxygen level decreases and the heart has to work harder to pump oxygenated blood. If this condition is not treated for a long time, it increases the risk of developing severe health problems like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
- Sinus infection
- Deviated septum
- Sinus infection
- Thick throat tissue
- Too much soft tissue in the neck
- Tonsils and adenoids (primarily children)
What are its symptoms?
When other symptoms accompany snoring, it indicates some underlying health condition that needs to be treated. Some such symptoms worth noting are:
- Itchy, watery eyes and sneezing
- Frequent fatigue and drowsiness
- Mouth breathing
- Nasal drainage and congestion
- Frequent sore throats
What are the solutions and treatment options?
Depending on the cause of the condition, several treatment options are available to help with snoring. Some of these are:
- Weight loss – this is recommended when the snoring occurs due to obesity.
- Pillar implants – is a surgical procedure where rods are inserted into the soft palate.
- Genioglossus and hyoid advancement – is a surgical procedure, which prevents the lower part of the throat from collapsing by pulling the base of the tongue forward.
- CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device – is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. It has a mask that is worn over the nose and mouth. This mask is connected to a machine that delivers a positive amount of pressure to keep the airway open.
Apart from these, we also recommend some home remedies for people who tend to snore:
- Eating healthy home-cooked food, exercising, giving up the habit of smoking and limiting alcohol consumption
- Avoiding the use of sleeping aids or sedatives
- Trying to sleep on your side, not on your back
- Getting into a regular sleep routine (sleeping and waking up at the same time every day)
- Elevating your head with a few extra pillows
With so many solutions and treatment options available to help you with your snoring, it does not have to be an issue in your life. If you notice any symptoms related to snoring, our doctors would be happy to evaluate your condition and guide you with your treatment.
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