The sound produced due to the vibration of our respiratory structures is called Snoring. Snoring happens when the air movement gets obstructed during breathing while sleeping. The person may not know that he/she is snoring but it can be totally unpleasant and annoying for others.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA and Snoring
Snoring is an indication of the Obstructive Sleep Apnea. OSA is the most common sleep related breathing disorder. The upper respiratory tract can get obstructed partially or completely during sleep and this leads to breathing problems.
Most people suffering from OSA are not aware of the disturbance in breathing when they are sleeping. But others – like the bed partner – may observe the snoring and breathing problems. While snoring, there are chances of gasping, choking and breath may come to a stop temporarily. When breathing problems are severe, one should consult a doctor and take treatment immediately. Otherwise life itself may be put to danger.
The Uvula and Soft Palate tissues get relax so that the Airway can be blocked and this causes disturbed airflow and creates vibrations. Snoring can be due to obesity as well. There may be some issues with the mouth, nose or throat due to which people usually snore.
Consequences of Snoring
- Sleep deprivation for the person snoring and people around him/her
- Drowsiness during daytime due to insufficient sleep
- Loud snoring has a link to risk of heart attack and stroke
- Unhappy marital relationship
- Possible Carotid Artery damage and Atherosclerotic Plaque development
There are no specific treatment to stop snoring completely. But usage of Orthopedic Pillows, specific Dental Appliances, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines are suggested by doctors to control the snoring. There is a Surgery method as well, for correcting social snoring.
- Do exercises to strengthen the muscles in the upper airway is also found useful in controlling snoring
- Try to lose weight so that the amount of tissue in the throat that cause snoring is reduced
- Sleeping to your right or left side can ease breathing and thus reduce snoring
- Elevating the head of your bed may reduce snoring
- Usage of nasal strips/external nasal dilator can be helpful. Consult your doctor before doing so