Thursday, June 10, 2010


SnoringSnoring is a widely prevalent human habit which is not to be ignored. It has been found that in the age group of 30 - 35 years 20% of men and 5% of women snore and by the age of 60 years, as many as 60 out of 100 men will snore.

So is it really serious if you snore or your bed - partner snores?

Most often, snoring is considered as something funny by the household members and by the snorer himself, but it is the bed - partner who suffers from sleepless nights and may have to resort to measures like shaking up the snoring partner time and again when he/she starts snoring; or start sleeping in a separate room. In certain severe cases, it may even lead to deterioration of relationships.

Snoring is due to obstructive breathing during sleep and the most advanced stage isobtsructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is manifested as intermittent loud snorting during sleep, choking spells, abnormal body motions like limb movements and such scary moments when the person seems to struggle for his next breath. 

Heavy snorers are more likely to suffer from hypertension. They are generally obese and have increased risk of strokes, chest pains and heart attacks. 

Alcohol intake before retiring to bed increases the snoring and a snorer is more likely to have these attacks (episodes of apnea) where the oxygen saturation level in his blood dips to a dangerous low.

In 35 % of habitual snorers, significant episodes of apnea (" want of breath ") occur. The person is repeatedly aroused from deep sleep to lighter stages of sleep. Therefore in the morning he feels deprived of his usual quota of sleep, has headache and complains of excessive daytime sleepiness. Such persons may cause accidents as they may fall asleep while driving. They may fall asleep while watching TV or even while talking in severe cases.

Snoring occurs due to the vibration of the collapsible part of the airway, where there is no rigid support. Obese individuals tend to have an excess of soft tissue; a thick neck thick tongue, flabby muscles which leads to decreased airway space causing snoring.

Also, any narrowing of nasal passage or oral passage due to enlargement of tonsils or any other reason can lead to snoring.

Certain measures which are suggested to snorers are
- To exercise regularly and lose weight.

- To sleep on your side rather than your back.

- Avoid taking alcoholic drinks before going to bed.

- You may try tilting the head of your bed upwards by three or four inches.

- Avoid sleeping pills.

If snoring is persistent and is associated with snorting, frequent stops in breathing at night and excessive daytime sleepiness, it is best to consult a doctor.

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