How Snoring Happens
The scientific explanation of how snoring occurs is when air doesn’t properly flow through our nose and throat during sleep. While sleeping, muscles in the nose and throat relax, causing airways to narrow. Due to this, the tissues vibrate with each inhale and exhale, which produces the irritating sound. The narrower the airway, the louder the sound produced.
What Are the Types of Snoring?
Did you know that there are different types of snoring? One is nose snoring, which is when the nasal passage is blocked. Second is throat snoring – when the airway in our throat is partially blocked. The third is Palate (the roof of the mouth) snoring, caused by an elongated or thickened soft palate. Finally, combination snoring is when the snoring is due to two or more of the phenomena described above.
So, which kind of snorer are you? Being able to identify what type of snorer you are is the first step towards helping you to reduce or eliminate snoring altogether.
What Are the Causes of Snoring?
There are several causes of snoring. First is age. As we reach middle age, our throat becomes narrower. Second is weight gain or being overweight. Carrying extra weight around the neck can cause snoring. The third is gender. Men are most likely to snore because they have narrower airways. Fourth is alcohol intake and medications that cause muscle relaxation. Finally and more commonly is sleeping position. Sleeping with our backs laid flat on the bed causes muscles in the throat to relax, blocking the airway.
When Should I Seek Professional Help?
While snoring is a very common phenomenon, sometimes it can also create serious a health implications, especially when it is linked to sleep apnea. To check if your snoring is a serious problem, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you feel excessively sleepy all day?
- Do you experience morning headaches?
- Are you overweight?
- Do you feel restless?
- Do you find it difficult to focus or remember things?
- Do you or someone else notice you experienced breathing interruptions during your sleep?
If your answer to some of these questions is “yes”, then it is recommended you seek medical advice. Self-diagnosis is highly discouraged, so it is best to have yourself checked by a medical professional.
Snoring and Relationships
Snoring can put a strain on your relationship with your bed partner or your roommate. If you’re the one disturbed by your partner’s loud snoring, it is easy to start feeling resentful. Now if you’re the one who snores, you may feel guilty and helpless, or even be irritated by your partner nagging about something you cannot control.
Snoring can cause the following problems to your relationship with your bed partner:
- Get forced to sleep in separate rooms, which may affect intimacy or make the snorer feel rejected.
- Irritability due to lack of sleep for both partners, making it more difficult to solve the problem
- Partner resentment
If you are the partner of the snorer, it is essential to approach the issue with empathy. While it can be challenging to keep your composure because of sleep deprivation, try reining in your frustration. Attack the snoring problem and not the snorer. Here are ways to communicate effectively with your snoring partner:
- Identify the best time to talk to your partner about it. Do not raise the issue when you are both deprived of sleep, such as in the middle of the night or early morning.
- Remember that your partner is not snoring on purpose.
- Do not lash-out.
- Do not involve issues outside of the snoring problem.
- Be compassionate and understanding.
Now if you’re the snorer, hearing complaints about your snoring be hurtful. But if you take this too lightly, it might give your partner the impression that you do not care about them. Here are tips on how to handle your partner’s complaints:
- Accept that snoring is a physical issue and is unintentional.
- Do not take it personally, however, take it seriously, so you show you care about how your snoring is affecting them.
- Address inappropriate behaviour, such as irritability and moodiness.
Remedies to Stop Snoring
There are several ways to stop snoring. You may start with self-help remedies, but if they do not work, it is best to visit your doctor. You can consult an otolaryngologist or your physician for recommendations on how to eliminate your snoring.
Self-Help Remedies to Stop Snoring
- Change Sleeping Position
The position you sleep in can be an important factor in the severity of your snoring. It is recommended that you elevate your head with a tall pillow when you sleep to promote proper breathing. Also, it is better to sleep on your side instead of lying flat on your back. Make it a habit to sleep on your side, and you will soon notice the difference.
Whether you lose weight or not, exercising can also help eliminate snoring. Toning various muscles in your body also leads to toning the muscles in the throat. There are also exercises you can do to tone your throat muscles.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
These vices can contribute to snoring, and it is therefore recommended to reduce their intake to reduce snoring. The membranes on the throat get irritated when smoking, which then blocks the airways. On the other hand, alcohol relaxes the muscle in the throat and can obstruct your breathing.
Medical Remedies to Stop Snoring
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) – A mask worn over your nose and attached to a beside machine blows air into your nose.
- Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) – A laser shortens the hanging tissue at the back of your throat and makes small cuts in the soft palates. The goal is to stiffen the surrounding tissues to prevent the vibrations that cause the snoring.
- Pillar Procedure – Plastic implants are inserted into the soft palates.
- Somnoplasty – Low levels of radiofrequency heat is used to remove the soft tissues in the uvula and soft palates which vibrate during snoring.
- Dental Devices and Jaw Positioners – Brings the lower jaw and tongue forward during sleep.
- Surgery – Such as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP), tonsillectomy, and adenoidectomy
Non-Intrusive Solution to Restless Nights
There are many ways to treat snoring, from lifestyle changes to medical devices and procedures. The good news is that NoseWings is a non-intrusive solution for restless nights caused by snoring.
NoseWings is a world first, patented, magnetic nasal dilator created by Dr Robert André, an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist).
Unlike other nasal dilators, NoseWings has been designed to anatomically mimic the size, shape and orientation of the nasal alar cartilage and NoseWings uses the magnetic repellent force of magnets to increase nasal airflow.
Using a NoseWings device promotes nose-breathing, thus reducing the intensity of snoring and encouraging deeper restful sleep.
Important Note: This blog is not intended to be medical advice, nor is it a substitute for professional treatment or expertise.