Encyclopedia

Snoring

Snoring is a hoarse or piercing sound that occurs when breathing is partially obstructed in some way during sleep.

Sometimes it can be a sign of a serious health problem, and it can also cause discomfort for the partner.

It is estimated that around half of all adults snore occasionally.

A person begins to snore as air passes through the last loose tissues in the throat, causing them to vibrate on exhalation, creating these irritating sounds.

Lifestyle changes such as normalizing your body weight, avoiding alcohol a few hours before bed or sleeping on your side can help stop you from making such irritating noises during dream.

In addition, medical devices and surgery are available that are able to at least limit the highly disturbing snoring especially for the partner.

What are the symptoms?

• In most cases, noisy inhalations during sleep, and the noise of exhalations is weaker;
• Excessive daytime sleepiness;
• Difficulty concentration;
• Sore throat;
• Restless sleep;
• Attacks of moaning or choking during sleep;
• High blood pressure;
• Chest pain at night;

When to see a doctor?

• If the snoring is so loud that it disturbs your partner’s sleep.

• You wake up at night choking or short of breath;

This could mean that the snoring is caused by a more serious condition such as obstructive sleep apnea.

If your child snores, seek the help of their pediatrician. In addition, children can also develop obstructive sleep apnea.

The most common causes are nose or throat problems such as enlarged tonsils. Obesity often causes a narrowing of the child’s airways, which can progress to obstructive sleep apnea.

What are the causes?

Factors that can unconsciously cause irritating noises during sleep are many such as peculiarities in the anatomy of the mouth and sinuses, alcohol use, allergies, colds, as well as body weight.

When a person falls asleep and transitions from a state of light to deep sleep, the muscles of the soft palate, tongue and throat relax.

They can relax enough that it will be enough to partially block the airway and begin to vibrate.

And the narrower the airways, the greater the pressure of the air flow. This causes an increase in vibrations and a corresponding increase in snoring.

The following conditions affecting the respiratory tract may cause irritating sounds, especially to the partner during sleep:

The anatomy of your mouth – having a low and thick soft palate can narrow the airway.

People who are overweight may have extra tissue in the back of the throat, which can cause the airway to narrow.

Similarly, if the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate /uvula/ is longer, airflow can be impeded and vibrations increased.

Alcohol consumption – drinking too much alcohol before going to bed relaxes the throat muscles and reduces the natural defenses against airway obstruction.

Treatment for snoring

• Elevating your upper body about 12 cm when you sleep can reduce the noise you make during sleep;

• Nasal strips – Self-adhesive strips applied to the nose help many people increase the space for air to pass through the nose, thus preventing swirls and the resulting noisy breathing. But the strips are not effective for sleep apnea.

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