What Is Snoring?
Snoring is a condition in which a person emits a sound from their nasal passageways during the deep stages of sleep.
Why Does It Happen?
When a person is awake and immersed in their daily routine their air passage supports the Tongue, Soft Palate and Uvula together, making them stand stiff. When a person is sleeping the air passage loses the grip on these parts of the air passage and therefore they become loose. In turn, the air passage is relaxed and it becomes narrower which causes the regulation of air to the passageways to be blocked. It becomes quite difficult for the air to pass along the air passage in such conditions.
The continuous breathing in and out leads the air inside the passage to collide with the tissues of the throat. This collision of air vibrates the tissues in the throat and hence the repeated vibrations emit snoring sounds as we all hear them.
Who Can Suffer From Snoring?
Snoring can happen to practically anybody from new born babies to adults as old as 70 years. New born babies tend to snore due to the smallness of their air passage and the mucus which is often present along the lining of their throats.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is a breathing problem which can be caused due to a lot of factors. It has always been associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Sleep Apnea is another sleeping disorder which can prove to be quite severe if not treated in time. In this condition, a person tends to stop breathing for a few seconds during the deep stages of sleep and it can often happen over a hundred times in one night. Snoring has always been linked with Sleep Apnea as both of them are directly related to breathing. Snoring caused by Sleep Apnea can actually prove to be quite dangerous.
If you snore and feel like it is causing obstruction in your breath during night, make sure to go to a doctor immediately. If diagnosed with any of the Sleep Apnea symptoms immediately request the suitable treatment for your problem.
There are various factors that cause snoring. Following are a few factors listed:
- Age: As people get older, the onset of snoring is most likely to start. It is actually a known fact that after the age of forty a person is most likely to become a snorer because their air passage becomes narrow. The air passage does not have a good grip of the Uvula, Tongue and Soft Palate as a person gets older.
- Smoking: A smoker is more at a risk of developing a strong habit of snoring than a non-smoking person. Smokers already tend to suffer from side effects of snoring such as breathing problems and asthma in a person. Smoking has always been considered dangerous and it is notorious for causing cancer but in this case it helps aggravate snoring because it allows mucus to get accumulated along the lining of the throat. This in turn makes it difficult for the air to pass through.
- Consumption of alcohol: It is widely known that alcohol plays a role in helping the air passage to relax. When the air passage relaxes, it becomes narrower and makes it difficult for air to pass through to the lungs. Hence, a person snores. It is essential that a person abstain from alcohol before bed in order to avoid snoring.
- Sleeping Position: Sometimes, a person’s sleeping position can lead to relaxation of the air passage. This can also cause snoring.
- Irregular Sleeping Pattern: This factor leads to a very unhealthy lifestyle and contributes to snoring. A person who sleeps irregularly tends to be tired, lethargic and fatigue haunts him which ultimately effects work performance.
- Consumption of Sleeping Pills and Sedatives: Taking sleeping pills or drugs without a doctor’s prescription is highly dangerous. Sleeping pills and sedatives also cause relaxation of the air passage and hence cause snoring.
Is Snoring Fatally Dangerous?
No. Snoring is not fatally dangerous. However, it can affect a person’s life in other ways. There are various behavioral changes which can bring to a person’s life if they snore and most of them effect their personal as well as professional dealings.
How Can Snoring Damage Your Life?
Snoring not Snoring is notoriously known for sabotaging ongoing relationships. Everyone likes to sleep peacefully as it leads to their peace of mind and a general improved outlook towards life. However, if your spouse or partner is a snorer, life can be quite difficult for not only one but both the individuals.
Partners obviously share a deep level of intimacy and affection, however, when a person is tired and sleepy, the last thing they want is the plagues of snoring affect their sleep. It is obvious that you will always love your partner but when you are tired and want to sleep, a snoring partner is the last thing you want. These situations can be quite annoying and irritating.
Due to lack of sleep, a non-snoring partner tends to get irritable and distraught. They find it hard to function in their daily routines and a sense of lethargy sets in. Once back home, the irritability stays and it often leads to fights and a lot of lashing out towards the snoring partner. There is always the option of sleeping in a different bed, however that has chances of hurting your partner’s feelings and creating more distances in a relationship.
How to Avoid This Damage?
Like anything else, these things can also be fixed in a relationship. The keyword to operate with here is communication. Try to communicate with your partner in the best possible manner and try to be gentle as well as eloquent. Keep in mind however, that they are already very embarrassed about the whole situation and this is not something they are doing intentionally. Try to soothe them into understanding that it is not their fault and you do not hold them responsible for it in any way. This will give them heart and the reassurance that they will seek in such sensitive times. Following are some ways that you can adapt while talking to your partner:
- Carefully Time Your Talk: Try not to say anything at an inappropriate time. Make sure you talk to them step by step. Start by taking baby steps and then slowly and gradually make them realize what the conversation is really about. Do your best to avoid making them feel targeted or victimized.
- Communicate Your Understanding: Repeatedly tell your partner that you have nothing against them and that the conversation is as uncomfortable for you as for them. Keep reminding them that this is in no way intentional and you only want a happy and healthy lifestyle for both of you. Make them see how getting help can be better for both of you.
- Refrain from Lashing Out: When you talk, talk you really mean it. There is bound to be a point when your partner will disagree and get defensive. At such a time, try your best to be mature and sensible enough to interpret it in a sophisticated manner without getting angry. The moment you lash out or start screaming, it might cause adverse effects. Keeping your cool and guiding your partner through step by step is the only way both of you will be able to make it work.
- Use Humor and Playfulness: Even though it is imperative to maintain some seriousness, make sure you are not all that serious and keep your tone light and humorous. Try your best to be funny and jolly and crack light jokes during the conversation when possible. To make them comfortable you can share something equally embarrassing which you have not disclosed yet. Make sure that your partner knows that you support them in whatever they choose to do and that you love them.
How to Treat Snoring Medically?
To cure snoring, sometimes people opt for a surgery known as Somnoplasty. In order to perform this sophisticated surgery, the doctor needs to first rule out any sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is a breathing disorder that happens when a person is fast asleep and it has always been closely associated with snoring. However, it does not necessarily mean that all soring people suffer from Sleep Apnea. To rule the possibility of Sleep Apnea, a sleep test is conducted at a patient’s home. In this test, their sleep pattern is closely monitored. It has been associated with snoring for a long time.
What is Somnoplasty?
Somnoplasty is a unique surgical method used to reduce habitual snoring by removing or stiffening tissues of the Uvula and Soft Palate. This procedure unlike other approaches utilizes minimum levels of Radiofrequency Heat Energy and creates finely controlled localized burn-areas beneath the lining (mucosa) of the soft tissues of the soft palate. These burn areas are eventually reabsorbed by the body and they shrink the tissue volume and stiffening them. This approach reduces snoring significantly. Somnoplasty is performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting and takes approximately thirty minutes to be completed.
Does Somnoplasty Have Any Side Effects?
Like any other surgical procedure, Somnoplasty too has its own short term and long term side effects. These are as follows:
- Most surgeons report that up to 80% of patients who opt for a Somnoplasty notice a great reduction in their will have a great reduction in their snoring for a year or more. Those who do not feel a reduction altogether, significantly feel a rapid decrease in the level of noise their snoring makes.
- Nasal Regurgitation
- A sudden change in voice
- Some patients experience a flow of liquids into the nasal cavity during swallowing which is called Velopharyngeal Insufficiency. This happens rarely but is extremely discomforting.
- Need for more aggressive surgery.
- Long Lasting Pain, Infection, Bleeding, or Impaired Healing.
- Thermal or Electrical injury to the mucus membranes of the Soft Palate, Uvula, or Mouth. This may lead to tissue loss by burn.
- Recurrence of snoring over time is also something a lot of patients report. This happens due to the stretching out of tissues gradually over time.
Natural Treatments for Snoring
For those people who do not wish to opt for a surgery, there are natural treatments, remedies and lifestyle changes which can help them if taken seriously. Following is a list of all remedies which have been known to work wonders against snoring.
- Change Your Lifestyle: In order to fight snoring, it is important to adopt a healthier lifestyle. This means that the body’s proper dietary requirements are met, proper sleeping pattern is adapted and a more positive outlook is adapted towards life.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking is dangerous for health and leads to a number of diseases such as lung cancer which are fatal. Snoring is the least of the problems which it brings and hence it must be avoided at all costs.
- Consumption of Alcohol: This should be reduced significantly in order for a person’s snoring to be controlled. Try your best to avoid drinking alcohol especially before bedtime.
- Lose Weight: Obesity is one of the leading causes for snoring. Obese and overweight people should try their best to reduce their weight as it not only helps with snoring but also helps one live a healthier lifestyle.
- Exercise Regularly: Exercising makes a person fit, healthy and energetic and reduces the severity of snoring for them significantly. Special throat exercises can strengthen the muscles and tissues in the airways and control a person’s snoring problem.
- Use Essential Oils: Essential Oils are known for helping significantly with soring. Rubbing Valor Oil against your feet before sleeping is one of the surest possible ways to immediately stop snoring.
- Establishing a Proper Sleeping Schedule or Routine: This can vastly help with discomforting episodes of snoring.