Snoring Problems: Any Idea Why You Have Them?

Have you ever wondered why approximately, 90 million American adults suffer from snoring problems out of who, 37 million are trying to cope with it on a regular basis?  This could a burning question in the mind of every snorer or someone who is living with a snoring partner. 

There are plenty of causes of snoring. But of all the reasons why people snore, wrong sleeping position features amongst the top. While ‘snoring’ is an all-encompassing term, used to denote a noisy sleep disorder, not many venture to find out how they snore. This could give you a vital clue as to why you suffer from snoring problems. 

Let us look at some of the ways people snore and what they signal: 

–          When you snore with your mouth closed, the cause of snoring could be linked to the tongue.

–          Tissues of the throat are usually responsible when the snorer sleeps with his or her mouth shut.

–          Those who usually sleep on their back snore mildly and this can be treated simply by changing lifestyle habits, changing sleeping position or improved sleep habits.

–          If someone snores irrespective of sleeping position, then the condition is considered to be severe; the problem needs urgent medical attention. 

I have snoring problems: do I have sleep apnea? 

It is said that one-half of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea a condition marked by recurrent breathing pauses during sleep. Be that as it may, even the loudest snoring does not mean that a person has sleep apnea syndrome.

The truth of the matter is that one has to monitor the quality of sleep to be able to decipher whether it is sleep apnea. Normal snoring does not interfere with sleep as much as sleep apnea does. The continuous and serious sleep deprivation as experienced by an apnea patient soon starts to interfere with daytime alertness. When one has sleep apnea, excessive daytime sleepiness is one of the most important signals to keep an eye on. Extreme daytime fatigue indicates that it could be more than just snoring problems.

How is snoring treated? 

Treatment of snoring problems starts after assessing the cause and severity of the condition (most reliably done with the help of physical examination and polysomnography). In most cases making simple lifestyle changes can solve the sleep problem. These include:

–          Losing weight to reduce extra fat accumulated in the throat muscles

–          Changing sleeping posture to sleep more on the sides.

–          Nasal strips can increase the area of nasal passage.

–          Using nasal decongestants in case snoring is a result of colds and allergies.

–          Quitting alcohol as alcohol helps in the over-relaxation of breathing muscles.

In case lifestyle modifications do not solve the problem, the condition is considered to be severe and the doctor would recommend:

–          Using oral appliances like dental mouthpieces, etc.

–          Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy which is a means to provide artificial ventilation to keep the airways opened during sleep.

–          If snoring is caused by problems of the soft palate, the Pillar Procedure is effective. Here polyester filaments are injected in the soft palate in order to stiffen it.

–         Surgery is often the last option to treat snoring, when all other methods have failed and the problem is due to anatomical abnormalities.

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