All you need to know about the Cause, Symptoms & Possible Treatments for snoring
Snoring is the common sound that happens when air passes through relaxed tissues in your throat, causing them to vibrate while breathing. It’s a regular occurrence for most people, but it can be damaging if it happens regularly and becomes a chronic issue.
Apart from being indicative of a severe medical condition, snoring can also be a source of irritation to your sleep partner. Thus, it’s important to find out the cause and take the necessary steps to stop it.
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Causes of Snoring
During sleep, the muscles in the roof of your mouth, tongue, and throat become relaxed which can cause blockage in your airway resulting in vibration noises. This happens when you transition between light sleep and deep sleep phases.
Narrowing your airway could lead to increased air pressure in the system, causing high vibrations in the tissues around it. This can worsen your snoring, amplifying it to a louder volume.
Numerous conditions can obstruct the airway leading to snoring, such as:
- Your oral anatomy plays an important role in the efficiency of your breathing. A low and thick soft palate can restrict the size of your air passage. Additionally, individuals who are overweight may have extra tissue in their throat which could obstruct their airways. An elongated uvula, the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate, can block airflow and increase vibration.
- Overindulging in alcohol before bedtime can cause snoring. Alcohol causes the throat muscles to relax and reduces your body’s ability to keep your airways clear.
- Snoring could be a symptom of underlying nasal issues such as chronic congestion or an abnormal septum between the nostrils. These conditions can affect one’s breathing and cause noise when inhaling and exhaling.
- Lack of sleep can have a major impact on your health. It leads to throat muscles relaxing, which can cause snoring or other harmful respiratory issues.
- The most frequent and loudest snoring usually occurs when sleeping on the back. This is because gravity causes the throat to constrict leading to a narrower airway.
Symptoms of snoring
Snoring can vary drastically in terms of volume, which some people might not be aware of. It could range from faint whistles to loud grumbles, snorts, and rumbles. The majority of people are not aware that they snore in their sleep. Snorers often experience interrupted sleep along with frequent waking up, throat dryness, and overall exhaustion during the daytime. It can also lead to various health issues such as headaches, difficulty concentrating, and frequent mood swings.
People who suffer from sleep apnea may not just snore at night, but may also gasp for air & stop breathing for some duration. It’s important to seek medical help to treat this medical condition, as it can lead to more severe issues if ignored.
Treatments forthe cause of snoring
Your healthcare provider may suggest certain techniques & treatments to help enhance your posture or make breathing easier while you sleep. Some common snoring remedies include:
- By making a few adjustments in your lifestyle, you can decrease the amount of snoring you do. Abstaining from alcohol before bedtime, altering your sleeping position, and sustaining a healthy weight are all effective methods to reduce snoring.
- Medicines: Decongestants and anti-allergy drugs reduce nasal blockage, allowing you to breathe more easily.
- Nasal strips are designed with a flexible material that adheres to the outside of your nose, allowing you to breathe easier as it opens up your nasal passages.
- Oral appliances offer a great solution for snoring. They keep your jaw in the correct position and ensure that air can pass through freely when you are asleep.
Surgery for snoring includes:
- LAUP is a surgical procedure that utilizes laser technology to reduce excess soft palate tissue, ensuring improved airflow.
- Radiofrequency ablation: Also called Somnoplasty, this technique uses radiofrequency energy to shrink excess tissue in the soft palate and tongue.
- Septoplasty is a surgery performed to straighten a bent septum, which blocks the nasal passage. It can help in restoring normal airflow by reshaping the nasal cartilage and bone.
- T&A (Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy): A specialist can perform the removal of any extra tissue from the back of the throat (tonsillectomy) or the nose (adenoidectomy). This procedure helps improve breathing and reduce frequent cases of the throat, ear, and sinus infections.
Snoring can have several underlying causes, such as:
- Men statistically have a higher risk of snoring or contracting sleep apnea than women. Additionally, individuals who are overweight or obese tend to be more at risk of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea compared to individuals with normal body weight.
- Certain individuals may have a constricted airway due to a long soft palate, enlarged tonsils, or adenoids. These conditions can inhibit the proper flow of air and result in snoring.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages can increase the chances of snoring as it relaxes your throat muscles.
- A structural abnormality in your airways, like a deviated septum, can make it more likely for you to snore. Additionally, if you have family members who snore or suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, this also increases your risk.
Constant snoring can cause more than just an annoying sound and a poor night’s sleep for your partner. Habitual snoring may be an indication of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which brings with it several health risks, including:
- Excessive sleepiness during the day and feeling irritated or angry regularly can be signs of insufficient sleep. Make sure to get enough rest every night to function optimally throughout the day.
- Higher rates of high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke are among the potential risks associated with this.
- Children suffering from OSA may have an elevated risk of exhibiting behavior difficulties, including aggression and learning issues.
- Not getting enough sleep can cause a dangerous increase in the chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. It is thus critical to pay attention to your sleep cycle and ensure that you are not driving when you are tired.
Snoring has the potential to create serious health issues, so it’s best to consult a physician as soon as possible if you’re having trouble catching your breath when sleeping or feeling uncontrollably tired during the day. An evaluation and advice from a medical professional are vital for treating snoring and reducing its potentially harmful effects.
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