Excerpt from Secrets of a Good Night's Sleep
Copyright ©, All Rights Reserved Dream Essentials 2015
Snoring occurs during sleep when the respiratory structures in our body vibrate due to the obstruction of free air passage. The vibration, like all other vibrations, causes the air particles to create sound waves resulting in the trademark snoring sound that a lot of people complain about. The sound of snoring can be soft or muted, but in most cases it can be loud and disturbing. (Try earplugs to stop snoring.) The cause of snoring is considered by medical experts to be the result of sleep deprivation and one of the first indicators of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
One of the causes of snoring is when air has to pass through a tiny opening in our throat. This builds up pressure and leads to the creation of a vibrating effect in the surrounding tissue. The opening in our throat is where air that we breathe passes through. Normally, this opening is large enough to accommodate enough air, but during sleep, this opening becomes narrow due to the relaxation of the throat muscles. The narrowing can also occur in the nose or the mouth.
Snoring is quite a common problem and surveys indicate that around 45% of men and 30% of women snore. Even individuals who do not snore normally experience snoring as a result of an illness, medication or alcohol consumption. Alcohol and certain medications can cause the muscles in the body to relax which causes a narrowing in the airways, ultimately causing the person to snore.
There are natural as well as medical snoring treatments. However, the cause of the snoring must be determined before going through with treatment. The reason for this is because snoring can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying problem. For instance, snoring is very often a symptom of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is can be caused due to overconsumption of alcohol, smoking or obesity. So, in such cases, the primary cause must be treated before actually treating the snoring problem. Obese individuals must lose weight to treat their snoring or smokers must quit smoking.
Other than that, snoring can be treated with surgery or other medical therapies. There are surgeries that can be done to increase the size of the airways by removing excess tissue or fixing abnormalities. A surgery known as the Pillar Procedure has been known to be quite effective in curing the problem of snoring. In this procedure, tiny plastic implants are inserted into the soft palate. Once scar tissue develops around these implants, the soft palate becomes stiff. The stiffness reduces the vibrations that cause snoring.
Patients are also prescribed devices that can assist with better breathing such lower-jaw positioners or mouth guards.