Dealing with Snoring


Fifty-five percent of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 30 percent are habitual snorers. Heavy snoring is more frequent in males than females and overweight persons, and it usually grows worse with age.

What causes snoring?

Snoring occurs when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose due to blockage in the nasal airways. It occurs when the tongue & soft palate collapse, creating a blockage at the airway. It also occurs if there is excessive bulkiness of the throat tissues that is large tonsils and adenoids. Snoring can be caused by alcohol, smoking, sleeping pills, blocked nose, sinusitis, a large uvula, enlarged tonsils, deformities in the nasal pathway and excess body weight.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition where the snorer stops breathing for a couple of seconds (10-30 seconds) several times in an hour and this is the time when the breathing is totally obstructed. This is a very serious condition, which often leads to heart problems, elevated blood pressure and hypertension. Thus if you snore loudly, have frequent pauses in breathing while asleep, wake up gasping for air, suffer from sleepiness during the day, fall asleep easily during the day, there is a high probability that you suffer from sleep apnea and you need treatment.

Self-Help Methods:

1. Always sleep on the side. This will help open up the airway to enable normal breathing.

2. Elevate the head by placing pillows below the head or tilt the head of your bed upward atleast four inches.

3. Exercise and lose some weight if you're obese. It'll do much good to lighten neck tissues so as to prevent the narrowing of the airway.

4. Avoid alcohol for at least four hours and heavy meals or snacks for three hours before retiring. Alcohol causes the muscles to relax which obstructs air passages.

5. Stop smoking.

6. Establish regular sleeping patterns and avoid taking sleeping pills.

However if you have serious snoring problems then it is advisable that you seek treatment and consult your doctor.

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