Snoring is Not Just a Comedic Punchline It Produces Sleep Apnea Insomnia and Marital Discord
Snoring is a fact we all live with in some fashion. Either we are the culprit or more commonly our spouse. But it can also occur in children, which is actually quite a health problem that needs attention. Sometimes snoring is a laughing matter, a topic for comedy, but in reality it is actually a health problem and it can cause significant problems between couples. So let's explore the phenomena of snoring and find some solutions.
What causes snoring? Snoring is defined as a noise caused by vibration from the airways of the respiratory tract that only occurs during sleep. This occurs because the muscles associated with respiration are relaxed during sleep. This coupled with the tissue being soft and pliable they are able to vibrate. When the tissues and muscles relax they expand which causes a narrow air passage which increases vibration. The loudness is affected by the force of the air pushing through the passages. The deeper into sleep the person is, the slower and deeper the respiration and more forceful the air is pushed through the passages causing a very disturbing loud vibrating snore.
Older children really should not snore. Research shows that children that snore could have a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea. This actually puts them at higher risk for behavior and learning problems. So be sure to have your snoring child tested for sleep apnea.
Jokingly we say the partner is the one that suffers when the partner is the one snoring. And that is indeed true, but the person snoring is also not resting. The problem of snoring is seriously causing insomnia in both people. The person snoring is not sleeping well due to the fear of not taking that next breath. And of course the non snoring partner is simply being kept awake by the snore. So both people are at danger of resultant health problems related to insomnia.
There are many factors that may be contributing to snoring:
cold and flu
excessive intake of alcohol
excessive use of nasal sprays
Some Simple Combatants against snoring:
Breathing exercises and proper throat and jaw positioning.
Decongestants to clear the nose and allow a person to stop mouth breathing
Some allergy medications can decrease the size of adenoids
using too many pillows when you sleep (different from elevating the head of the bed) try using only one pillow and sleep on your side.
Stop smoking or at least cut down
Drink alcohol only moderately
There is also a more radical solution which is surgery. Laser Assisted Uvula palatoplasty (LAUP) can be done, Which is the removal of the uvula, and usually adenoids, which removes some of the vibrating tissue in the throat.
So the bottom line is that snoring is a difficult health problem. Difficult for couples and individuals. And it can certainly lead to more serious health problems. Although there are some simple solutions, if they do not work, you really should seek professional help.