Vibrat­ing hoarse sounds emit­ted by a sleep­ing per­son and pre­vent­ing oth­ers from falling asleep is a phe­nom­e­non famil­iar to every­one. Snor­ing can be episod­ic and not seri­ous. Approx­i­mate­ly 60% of men and 40% of women over 40 years of age snore in their sleep from time to time. But in some peo­ple (about 20%), snor­ing is chron­ic and requires treat­ment. It is impor­tant to be aware of the dan­gers asso­ci­at­ed with this phe­nom­e­non and what can be done about snor­ing. Med­AboutMe will talk about it.

Causes of snoring

Causes of snoring

The breath­ing of an awake per­son is usu­al­ly silent. Why do some peo­ple breathe loud­ly in their sleep? The caus­es of snor­ing lie in the con­di­tion of the mus­cles and soft tis­sues of the upper res­pi­ra­to­ry tract, which in snor­ers dur­ing sleep relax so much that they sig­nif­i­cant­ly nar­row the pas­sage through which the inhaled and exhaled air flows. As a result, dur­ing inhala­tion and exha­la­tion, the air that hard­ly makes its way caus­es the soft tis­sues of the throat and mouth to vibrate, which leads to hiss­ing, whistling and wheez­ing sounds.

The pres­ence of inflam­ma­to­ry process­es or aller­gies, which are accom­pa­nied by swelling of the tis­sues, as well as defects in the anatom­i­cal struc­ture of the nose and throat, which inter­fere with the free pas­sage of air, con­tribute to the occur­rence of snor­ing. This phe­nom­e­non is more often observed in old­er peo­ple, which is nat­ur­al, since mus­cles weak­en with age, their tone decreas­es, tis­sues lose their elas­tic­i­ty.

In addi­tion to these caus­es of snor­ing, the fol­low­ing can also con­tribute to its occur­rence:

  • excess weight;
  • overeat­ing before bed, espe­cial­ly with alco­hol;
  • alco­holism and smok­ing, which usu­al­ly cause chron­ic inflam­ma­tion of the nasophar­ynx;
  • fatigue;
  • mus­cle-relax­ing drugs (for exam­ple, sleep­ing pills).

Symptoms needing attention

Symptoms needing attention

In most cas­es, snor­ing is not a health risk. But there are symp­toms to watch out for. A con­stant­ly snor­ing per­son expe­ri­ences oxy­gen star­va­tion, which usu­al­ly remains unno­ticed and not real­ized by him. How­ev­er, it has a destruc­tive effect on the body. We are talk­ing about res­pi­ra­to­ry arrest (apnea) due to the com­plete over­lap of soft tis­sues of the res­pi­ra­to­ry tract. Apnea can recur sev­er­al times a night and last from a few sec­onds to sev­er­al min­utes.

Lack of air not only dis­rupts the qual­i­ty of sleep and deprives a per­son of prop­er rest (breath­ing stops make him wake up many times dur­ing the night), but after a few years can lead to seri­ous com­pli­ca­tions: high blood pres­sure, coro­nary heart dis­ease, heart attack. Often the patient is unaware of what is hap­pen­ing to him in a dream. There­fore, rel­a­tives should pay atten­tion to the fol­low­ing symp­toms:

  • loud snor­ing (the loud­er, the more dan­ger­ous);
  • paus­es in breath­ing dur­ing sleep, which are inter­rupt­ed by a loud breath.

A per­son suf­fer­ing from snor­ing can inde­pen­dent­ly note the symp­toms that indi­cate the pres­ence of apnea:

  • increased blood pres­sure after sleep, which then nor­mal­izes on its own;
  • a feel­ing of fatigue, weak­ness after a suf­fi­cient dura­tion of sleep;
  • day­time sleepi­ness, headaches.

The pres­ence of these symp­toms in a per­son who snores at night indi­cates hypox­ia (lack of oxy­gen) and the need for treat­ment.

Prevention and treatment of snoring

Prevention and treatment of snoring

The choice of method of treat­ment and pre­ven­tion depends on the cause of snor­ing and the sever­i­ty of this phe­nom­e­non in a par­tic­u­lar per­son.

  • With snor­ing that occurs due to sleep­ing on your back (most cas­es), when the tongue falls back and blocks the way for air, it is enough to sleep on your side or stom­ach to get rid of the prob­lem. Since a per­son is not able to con­trol him­self in a dream, experts rec­om­mend attach­ing a ten­nis ball to the back of night clothes, which will not allow the sleep­er to roll over onto his back. It is also advised to adjust the height of the pil­lows so that the head is in an ele­vat­ed posi­tion.
  • If the cause of snor­ing is obe­si­ty, you need to nor­mal­ize your weight by giv­ing up high-calo­rie foods, espe­cial­ly at din­ner. Avoid alco­hol, caf­feinat­ed drinks, cig­a­rettes.
  • Pre­ven­tion and treat­ment of snor­ing involves the elim­i­na­tion of foci of inflam­ma­tion in the nasophar­ynx, as they con­tribute to swelling, loose­ness of near­by tis­sues, accu­mu­la­tion of mucus, which pre­vents nor­mal breath­ing.
  • In the case of anatom­i­cal defects that cause snor­ing, sur­gi­cal inter­ven­tion is pos­si­ble. Apply tra­di­tion­al, laser surgery and cry­oplas­ty (plas­tic surgery using liq­uid nitro­gen).
  • There are a num­ber of spe­cial devices that are used to com­bat snor­ing. They are fixed out­side or inside the mouth (nose) to improve breath­ing. In espe­cial­ly severe cas­es of apnea, sleep in a mask with a com­pres­sor that sup­plies air to the air­ways is rec­om­mend­ed.

Special exercises and natural remedies for snoring

Special exercises and natural remedies for snoring

Since the main cause of snor­ing is a decrease in the tone of the mus­cles of the res­pi­ra­to­ry appa­ra­tus, it will be use­ful to per­form spe­cial exer­cis­es to strength­en them. Here is some of them:

  • Say each vow­el aloud sev­er­al times a day for 3 min­utes (ah, oh, and…).
  • With your mouth open, squeeze and unclench the mus­cles in the back of your throat for 30 sec­onds.
  • With your mouth open, move your jaw to the left and hold it for 30 sec­onds. Repeat the same, mov­ing the jaw to the right.
  • Stick­ing out your tongue, try to reach it to the chin. Hold the tongue in this posi­tion for 2–3 sec­onds. Repeat 30 times, do the exer­cise sev­er­al times a day.
  • Singing, recit­ing poet­ry has a ben­e­fi­cial effect on the mus­cles of the res­pi­ra­to­ry appa­ra­tus.

There are nat­ur­al reme­dies that can help in the fight against snor­ing.

  • Essen­tial oils of mint, euca­lyp­tus, laven­der, cedar, gera­ni­um can nat­u­ral­ly open the air­ways. Spray­ing one of the oils half-dilut­ed with water at the head of the bed before going to bed can reduce the risk of snor­ing. You can also apply these oils to points near the wings of the nose.
  • Thyme essen­tial oil can help con­trol snor­ing by apply­ing two drops undi­lut­ed to each foot before bed. The infu­sion of this plant will calm the ner­vous sys­tem and improve the qual­i­ty of sleep.
  • A good rem­e­dy for snor­ing is olive oil (or any oth­er veg­etable oil), 2–3 sips of which should be drunk before bed­time. This pro­ce­dure, per­formed every evening, over time, sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduces the vibra­tion of the tis­sues that pro­voke snor­ing.
  • Clean water, drunk dur­ing the day in suf­fi­cient quan­ti­ties, dilutes the mucus of the nose and throat, which reduces the abil­i­ty of tis­sues to stick togeth­er dur­ing sleep.
  • Gar­gling with decoc­tions and infu­sions of plants that relieve inflam­ma­tion and improve tis­sue tone (euca­lyp­tus, cal­en­du­la, chamomile, oak) also helps to elim­i­nate snor­ing.

It is also nec­es­sary to mon­i­tor the clean­li­ness of bed linen and the bed­room, since res­pi­ra­to­ry fail­ure and snor­ing can be caused by aller­gies to dust, dirt, and pet hair.

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