Snoring is one of the common health disorders affecting nearly 45% of adults occasionally. It is caused due to narrowing of the upper airway during sleep which makes the surrounding tissues to vibrate. It is not a serious condition but it can create a nuisance to other persons. It also indicates that there is no proper sleep and it may cause some diseases after some time. This can affect more middle-aged and older men than women. Regular snoring can disrupt the quality of sleep that can lead to irritability, daytime fatigue, and other health problems.
Causes of Snoring:
The reason for snoring varies from person to person. It is caused due to improper air movement through nose and throat during sleep. This air blockage vibrates the surrounding tissues and causes snoring sound. It may also occur due to some health problems such as obesity, sleep apnea, etc. and for few people, it may be due to extra fatty tissues in the airways.
The most common causes of snoring are
- Supine body position (lying face up)
- Large tonsils, long soft palate or uvula
- Relaxation of tongue during sleep
- Consuming alcohol, medication or tobacco products within six hours of sleep time
- Nasal congestion from cold, allergies or any deformities of cartilage within the nose
Excess body weight can cause bulky throat tissues and contributes to snoring. Even if you are not overweight in general, but the excess weight just around the neck or throat can cause snoring.
Sleeping position is one of the main causes of snoring. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of the throat to get relaxed and blocks the flow of air. This causes the person to snore and a change in sleeping position can help to stop snoring.
The structure of the body can also be a reason. Men have narrower air passages than women and so men get affected to snoring than women. A narrow throat, enlarged adenoids, a cleft palate, and other physical attributes also cause snoring.
Nasal and sinus problems:
Blocked airways due to cold and allergies can make inhalation difficult and creates a vacuum in the throat. This can lead to snoring.
Sometimes, if there is no enough sleep continuously can make the person to snore.
Alcohol, Medication, and Smoking:
Intake of alcohol, smoking and certain medications such as tranquilizers like diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan) can increase the relaxation of muscles leading to more snoring.
- Sore throat
- Chest pain during sleep
- Restlessness during sleep
- Headaches in the morning
- A choking feel during sleep
- Waking up in the middle of the sleep due to choking or gasping
- Headaches in the morning
- Feeling sleepy during day time
Social and Health Consequences:
- Snoring is an embarrassment when traveling with others.
- It causes distress for sleeping partners
- Sleep deprivation can cause a negative impact on well-being and quality of life
- Snorers can experience tiredness, dry mouth, morning headaches, lower blood oxygen levels, relationship difficulties and other related consequences
- Loud snoring possess serious health risks
- It is number three on the list of reasons for divorce in married couples
Mild or occasional snoring can be alleviated by some changes in lifestyle such as reducing weight, avoiding alcohol, medication, heavy meals, and tobacco products within six hours before going to bed. There is no therapeutic option for treating snoring. Mandibular Advancement Splints/Devices are used for the treatment of snoring. These are custom made to fit the patient’s mouth. They require titration and adjustment for greater efficacy. Some may notice tooth movement and TMJ sensitivity which can reduce compliance.