What Is Snoring?
Snoring is noisy breathing while you sleep. It’s a common condition that can affect anyone, although it happens more often in men and in people who are overweight. Snoring tends to get worse with age.
Snoring once in a while isn’t usually a serious problem. It’s mostly a nuisance for your bed partner. But if you’re a long-term snorer, you not only disrupt the sleep patterns of those close to you, you hurt your own sleep quality.
Snoring can itself be a symptom of a health problem like obstructive sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor if you’re overly sleepy during the day, if you snore often or very loudly, or if your partner notices that you sometimes stop breathing altogether. You might need medical help so you (and your loved ones) can get a good night’s sleep.
To comprehend this point, it is necessary to start with the reasons for snoring:
Why do people snore?
It’s not because people are gifted and have a subwoofer in their throats, but because they have poor airflow like whistling.
When breathing, the airflow has to enter from the mouth and nose and enter the trachea through the oral cavity, nasal cavity, throat, and other parts. If any part is not smooth in this process, a sound may give out. For some people, this kind of obstruction may be due to the abnormality of physiological structure in these parts, but for most people, it is because of the relaxation and collapse of corresponding soft tissues during sleep, resulting in obstruction of ventilation.
Hence, snoring often means that breathing is not smooth when you are asleep.
Then why can’t you breathe freely? The problem falls upon the oral cavity, nasal cavity, throat, and other parts mentioned above. There are numerous reasons, such as
1. Your sleeping posture is not good enough! Lying on the back is a common sleeping position, but it will cause the tongue and soft palate to fall down, blocking the respiratory tract and causing snoring;
2. You drink too much wine! Drinking alcohol and taking some sedative drugs will relax the muscles of the throat and pharynx, which will cause snoring more easily;
3. You don’t have enough water! When there is a lack of water in the body, the secretions of the nasal cavity and pharynx will be thicker and increase the symptoms of snoring;
4. You stay up late! After working late for a long time, sleep will become deep, so that the pharyngeal muscles will relax more easily, which worsen the symptoms of the airway obstruction;
5. Your nasal cavity is blocked! When the nasal cavity is blocked for the reason of cold or allergy, the respiratory airflow will become quite urgent and people will easily snore;
6. Your pillow is not clean! Dust mites and pet dander are all potential allergens. Allergens in mattresses and pillows can worsen nasal congestion and cause snoring or make snoring even worse.
Finally, there is a pretty common reason: Fat
Home Remedies to Stop Snoring
Try these other solutions to get a good night’s sleep.
1. Try sleeping on your side to decrease snoring caused by lying on the back. You can also buy a sleeping pillow with the same length as your body to maintain your sleeping position on your side;
2. Quit drinking, especially don’t drink alcohol 4 ~ 5 hours before going to bed;
3. Replenish water and put a humidifier indoors.
4. Work and rest regularly, develop good sleep habits, go to bed early and get up early;
5. Keep the nasal cavity unblocked, if snoring results from nasal obstruction, making the nasal cavity unblocked can relieve snoring symptoms; take a hot bath before going to bed and use ventilated nasal stickers, etc.
6. Keep the bed clean, clean the pillow cover sheets in a prompt manner, and choose a pillow with the right height;
7. Lose weight, For those who start snoring after getting fat, losing weight may help relieve snoring symptoms, but it exerts no effect on those snoring people who are well-proportioned or already thin.
If you have been plagued by snoring for a long time, or if you have been plagued by snoring or by snoring people besides your pillow for a long time, you can try the above methods to relieve snoring.
However, if the above methods fail and have no effect at all, or the usual snoring is not slight, but very strong and irregular,
It is necessary to consider whether you are suffering from “sleep apnea”.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that stops breathing during sleep. It is generally classified into obstructive, central neurogenic, and mixed sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common one, which is caused by the relaxation of soft tissues near the throat, resulting in obstruction of the upper respiratory tract, narrowing of the respiratory tract, and causes apnea during sleep.
For instance, when some people sleep, they snore like thunder for a while, and then suddenly there is no sound; after several tens of seconds, there is shortness of breath, and then they snore again, and then they stop breathing.
This is because their soft tissues block the respiratory tract, causing snorers to lack oxygen during sleep, which will affect their sleep, cause them to wake up at night due to lack of oxygen, and reduce their attention and lack of energy during the day. Long-term lack of oxygen will cause vascular endothelial damage, inflammatory reaction, and so on, and eventually give rise to a series of cardiovascular problems.
More seriously, people with severe sleep apnea are at risk of sudden death in their sleep.
Thus, if you find that snoring is abnormal, such as strong and irregular snoring, you need to go to the hospital for examination with the least delay possible. Many large hospitals have launched sleep medicine programs and even opened specialties that can carry out professional sleep monitoring, which is also the main means to diagnose sleep breathing disorders.
Snoring Diagnosis and Treatment
Your doctor will ask both of you about your symptoms. Your doctor will also ask about your medical history and do a physical exam to look for things that could block your airways, like chronic nasal congestion due to rhinitis or sinusitis, a deviated septum, or swollen tonsils. They might also give you some tests.
Imaging tests. An X-ray, MRI scan, or CT scan can look for problems in your airways.
Sleep study. You might need to have a machine monitor your sleep while you’re at home or spend the night in a lab for a test called polysomnography. It will measure things like your heart rate, breathing, and brain activity while you sleep.
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Currently, there are several treatment methods for sleep breathing disorders:
1. Standardize daily living habits (that is, the several points mentioned above);
2. Wear an oral appliance for patients, like this:
4. Surgery. It is chiefly used for patients with pharyngeal structure problems or nasal cavity lesions, but surgery may not radically remove the obstruction, and some patients still need CPAP for assistance after surgery.
Undoubtedly, the specific treatment also requires to:
Listen to the doctor’s advice.