Snoring- how it affects and its treatment
Snoring is a common condition that affect many people and it occurs more frequently in men and people who are overweight. Snoring is usually caused by vibrating tissues in the airways of the nose and throat.
When you snore, it suggests that the nose or throat may be partially obstructed during sleep. Snoring occurs when the flow of air through the mouth and nose is physically obstructed by something. Air flow in mouth and nose can be obstructed by a combination of factors, including obstructed nasal airways, poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue, and bulky throat tissue. Bulky throat mostly happen in overweight persons.
Snoring habitually every time during sleep can be a sign of serious health problems, including obstructive sleep apnea. Mild snoring may not be serious and can have little effect on the quality of your sleep but as the airway becomes more obstructed the effort to breathe likewise increases. And when breathing is compromised it will lead to a drop in oxygen levels in the blood. This may lead to temporary arousals and sleep may hence become disrupted and the person will have more trouble in getting quality sleep. Snoring has also been found to increase the risk of narrowing of the blood vessels within the neck. Snoring also disrupts the bed partner's sleep.
In some cases of snoring caused by benign factors like sleep position it can often be treated with simple home remedies. Snoring also may be a sign of an underlying medical problem and it is important to seek a doctor’s care in order to get the right medical treatment you need to address the underlying condition. Treatments for snoring are both nonsurgical and surgical.
Some tips to help ease snoring include:
Maintain a healthy weight and diet
Maintaining weight will help reduce the amount of tissue in the throat that might be causing the snoring. Being overweight by just a few kilos can also lead to snoring. Fatty tissue around the neck will squeeze the airway and prevents air flowing in and out freely causing snoring.
You can try losing weight by reducing your overall caloric intake by eating smaller portions and more healthy foods Make sure you get regular exercise to help you maintain a healthy weight. You can also consider seeing your doctor or a nutritionist for help in reducing weight
Alcohol and sedatives are known to reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back of the throat which makes it more likely to snore. It is said that drinking alcohol four to five hours before sleeping can make snoring worse and people who do not normally snore will snore after drinking alcohol.
Open Nasal Passages
In case snoring starts in the nose then keeping nasal passages open may help. A hot shower before going to bed can help open nasal passages. You can also use a neti pot to rinse out the nasal passages with a salt water solution to help clear the nasal air way.
You can also try using stick on nasal strips which can be placed on the bridge of the nose. These nasal strips will help increase the space in the nasal passage. This can make the breathing more effective and reduce or eliminate snoring.
Sleeping on the back can sometimes cause the tongue to move to the back of the throat, which will partly blocks airflow through the throat. Sleeping on your side may allow air to flow more easily and will reduce or stop the snoring.
You can also use body pillow as they are full length and provide support to the entire body. The full body pillow will enable you to maintain sleeping on your side.
Another way of reducing or stopping snoring is elevating the head of the bed by four inches. This may help reduce your snoring by keeping the airways open.
Allergies can also reduce airflow through the nose and forces you to breathe through your mouth. This increases the chances of snoring. You can talk to a doctor about what kind of over the counter or prescription allergy medications that can help improve the allergy conditions.
Also change your pillows daily as they can contain dust and other allergens which will contribute to snoring. Dust will accumulate on the pillows and cause allergic reactions that lead to snoring.
Quit or cut down on smoking
Smoke from cigarettes can irritate the lining of the nose and throat which causes swelling. This means air will not flow properly as the airways are obstructed by the swelling. This increases your chances of snoring and you can help it by cutting down on smoking.
Use an oral appliance
There exist some dental mouthpieces called oral appliances which can help keep your air passages open. This makes it easier for you to breathe and prevents snoring. To obtain these devices you need to see a dentist.
Snoring can disrupt your sleep and that of your partner. But besides being annoying, it may also indicate a serious health condition underneath. Visiting a doctor and trying some of the above treatment options can help you get your sleep under control.
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