Snoring is a common condition that can affect anyone. It mostly happens, when you can’t move air freely through your nose & throat during sleep. It occurs more frequently in men and people who are over weighted. Snoring has a tendency to worsen with age. In many cases, snoring can be nothing more than an annoyance, but in some cases, it will be some serious potential health risks.
What Causes Snoring?
Firstly, let’s take a brief look at some of the potential causes of frequent snoring.
Obstructed Nasal Airways: Nasal congestion has a variety of causes, and it usually creates either a structural anatomic blockage or swelling of the nasal tissue. Both problems can narrow the nasal cavity and give a sensation of “nasal congestion.”
Poor Throat and Tongue Muscle Tone: Throat and tongue muscles can be too relaxed which allows them to collapse and fall back into the airway. This can be the result of deep sleep, alcohol consumption, or use of some sleeping pills. Normal aging causes further relaxation of these muscles.
Age: As you reach middle age or beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone of throat decreases. If you can’t do anything while growing older, lifestyle changes and throat exercises can also help to prevent snoring.
Being overweight: Extra weight contributes to snoring. Even if you’re not overweight in general only carrying excess weight just around your neck or throat can cause snoring. Exercising and losing weight can sometimes be all it takes to end your snoring.
Nasal and Sinus Problems: Blocked airways or a stuffy nose make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat that can lead to snoring.
Alcohol and Smoking: Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications, such as tranquilizers like diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan) can also increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
Sleep posture: Sleeping straight on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway and cause snoring. Changing your sleep position that can helps you.
Lifestyle changes that can help you to stop snoring.
Lose weight: Even a little bit but losing weight can reduce fatty tissue in the back of the throat and can decrease or even stop snoring completely.
Quit smoking: If you smoke daily, your chances of snoring are quite high. Smoking irritates the membranes in the nose and throat which can block the airways and cause snoring.
Avoid Alcohol and Sleeping Pills: Because they relax the muscles in the throat and interfere with breathing. Also, consult with your doctor about any prescription medications that you’re taking as some encourage a deeper level of sleep which can make snoring worse.
Eat Healthily: Be careful about your meals especially what you eat before bed. Research shows that eating heavy meals or consuming certain foods such as dairy or soymilk right before bedtime can make snoring worse. Placing a household ban on the following snore-hazards right before bedtime can make for quieter nights.
Do Exercise: Daily exercise also helps to reduce snoring, even if it doesn’t lead to weight loss. That’s because when you tone various muscles in your bodies, such as your legs, arms, and abs, this leads to tone the muscles in your throat, which can lead to less snoring. There are also specific exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles in your throat.
Medical Cures for Snoring
Consult your physician or an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, and throat doctor or ENT) to recommend you best medicine or surgical procedure. Have a look:
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): It keeps your airway open during sleep, a machine at your bedside that blows pressurized air into a mask and you wear over your nose.
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP): It uses a laser to shorten the uvula and to make small cuts in the soft palate either side. As the cuts heal, the surrounding tissues stiffen to prevent the vibrations that trigger snoring.
Palatal Implants: It involves inserting small plastic implants into the soft palate which help prevent the collapse of the soft palate that can cause snoring.
Somnoplasty: It uses low levels of radiofrequency heat to remove tissues of the uvula and soft palate that vibrate during snoring. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and takes about 30 minutes.
Custom-fitted dental devices and lower jaw positioners: It can help to open your airway by bringing your lower jaw or your tongue forward during sleep. For the best results, you will need to a consultant with a dentist who specializes in these devices.
Surgical Procedures: It involves Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP), tonsillectomy, and adenoidectomy that can increase the size of your airway by surgically removing tissues or correcting abnormalities.
“Sleep well without snoring because sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”