1.What is Snoring?
Snoring is breathing noisily in sleep. It is a common problem that affects people all over the world. It is caused due to the vibrations of the tissues of the palate and throat due to turbulent airflow. When the tissues vibrate due to the turbulent airflow, it results in a sound that is snoring. There are many types of snoring, a snorer can have:
- Nose based snoring as a result of blocked nostrils
- Mouth based snoring as a person breathes through the mouth instead of the nose
- Tongue based snoring when the tongue muscles get relaxed and block airflow
- Throat based snoring mostly due to sleep apnea.
The main symptom of snoring is the loud, hoarse noise that comes out when the person is asleep. The intensity, pitch, and frequency of this sound varies and depends on the extent of the block in the throat, nose, and palate. Some people may also wake up with a dry mouth or sore throat. Some of the other issues due to snoring are:
- Headaches in the morning
- Difficulty concentrating and focusing on tasks
- Have breathing pauses during sleep also called sleep apnea
- Restless sleep
- Sore throat
- High blood pressure
People who have snoring issues should see an ENT to get treatment for blocked nose and throat.
2.Who is at Risk?
Let us understand snoring risk factors and the reasons for snoring. It can be due to the below factors:
- Men snore more than women
- Women snore during pregnancy
- As people, age irrespective of the gender chances of snoring increases
- Smoking cigarettes and tobacco
- Consuming alcohol
- Underlying medical conditions like deviated spectrum
- Family history
- The shape of the head, neck, airway can also cause snoring
- Congestion of the nose due to allergies or common cold
Snoring is a problem that should not be ignored as it can lead to serious complications. Frequent snoring can also be signs of sleep apnea which can pose a high risk to your health.
- One of the main causes of snoring is the narrowing of the airways as the tissues relax and narrow. When the airflow is restricted it causes a vibrating sound. Depending on the place the air is restricted which can be the nose, mouth, or throat the volume of the snore varies.
- Allergies like asthma and common cold also lead to congestion of the nose and swelling in the throat causing snoring.
- People who have enlarged tonsils have constricted airflow and produce snores.
- Excessive fat buildup around the neck can also cause airway constriction when sleeping producing vibrating noise.
- Can be caused due to diabetes, heart issues, or sleep apnea.
3.How is Snoring diagnosed?
A snoring doctor needs to be consulted to get this condition treated. This doctor will then conduct a physical exam to determine if there is anything unusual in the mouth. If the snoring is mild, then a physical examination is the only snoring diagnosis needed. But for severe cases, other snoring tests for diagnosis is needed for airway abnormalities and includes
- CT scans
Sleep study called polysomnography is conducted and the heart rate, respiration rate, body movements especially the legs, brain activity, and oxygen levels in the blood are recorded. Sensors are placed on the head and the body to record the parameters.
4.How is Snoring treated?
There is no specific medicine for snoring, and snoring treatment usually includes:
- Oral appliances like dental mouthpieces that keep the tongue and palate in position and keep the airways open.
- Palatal implants where polyester strands are used to stiffen the palate.
- CPAP machines as a Snoring cure
- Septoplasty surgery can be done to trim or tighten tissue in the airways for a deviated septum.
- Laser surgery to remove the uvula
- Lifestyle changes may be recommended which includes avoiding alcohol and losing weight.
If snoring is severely affecting the quality of your life, our sleep doctors at Cure.fit are here to help. They provide the right treatment plan so that it avoids all further health complications and helps you lead a better life.
5.How can Snoring be Prevented?
A few lifestyle changes can improve mild snoring. How to prevent snoring? Check out:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Changing the sleep position from back to sleeping on the side
- Maintain a sleep routine of sleeping at the same time
- Taking proper treatment for nasal congestion
- Nasal strips can be used to bridge the gap of the nose
- Having dinner a couple of hours before bedtime
- Avoiding alcohol before bedtime
- Elevating your head using a pillow
For severe snoring, speak to your doctor on how to stop snoring.