Wednesday, July 04, 2018 by Zoey Sky
Snoring is the sound that a person makes when his breathing is blocked during sleep. The sound is caused by tissues at the top of the airway that strike each other and vibrate.
Snoring usually occurs among the elderly and people who are overweight. Severe snoring can wake the snorer at night, and this might cause daytime sleepiness. It can also disrupt their bed partner’s sleep.
In some cases, snoring is a symptom of a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea. A person should consult a healthcare professional if, aside from snoring, he always feels tired during the day, has trouble sleeping, or he wakes up gasping.
Known side effects of snoring
If a patient has sleep apnea, they may experience a snoring where they may seem to stop breathing at a time in between snores. When the patient stops breathing, they may make choking or gasping sounds.
Apart from loud snoring, sleep apnea may cause side effects like:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
- Low libido/sex drive
- Morning headaches
The side effects of sleep apnea are linked to severe health conditions like acromegaly (a hormonal disorder), high blood pressure, or hypothyroidism.
Snoring and sleep apnea may also increase the chance of having disrupted sleep. Not getting enough sleep can increase the risk of some mental health problems.
Risk factors for snoring may include:
- Being overweight
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Sleeping on your back
Body systems harmed by snoring
Snoring may cause the following complications:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure/hypertension
- Relationship conflict (e.g., when a partner snores the other person may have trouble getting enough sleep)
- Sleepiness during the day
- Vehicular accidents (due to drowsiness)
Food items or nutrients that may prevent snoring
The following foods or nutrients can help prevent snoring or address its side effects:
- Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus has leaves that are sweet-smelling and produces oil with various therapeutic uses. Put eucalyptus leaves in a steam inhaler and ingest the steam through your mouth or nose to help clear your sinuses. Steam from eucalyptus leaves can help prevent snoring.
- Fenugreek, fiber, and spearmint – Digestive problems can also cause snoring. Fenugreek, fiber, and spearmint are herbs that can cure snoring caused by digestive issues. An individual with indigestion may snore, especially if they have an acid problem in their digestive system. These three herbs can help get rid of the acid found in the body and reduce the risk of snoring while you sleep. Fenugreek, fiber, and spearmint are available in liquid, pill, and powder form.
- Immature bitter orange – Some people snore if the air in their sinuses is constricted. This leaves the mouth open during sleep, where the uvula vibrates, resulting in the snoring sound that you hear. Vitamin C can help prevent this since it helps promote a healthy immune system. The vitamin also clears the sinuses. An immature bitter orange, a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, is full of vitamin C and it has been used to treat snoring effectively.
- Peppermint and goldenseal – If nasal or chest congestion causes snoring, use peppermint oil to relieve congestion. Peppermint oil is available in liquid form while goldenseal comes in capsule, liquid, or powder form. Various teas also have these supplements.
Treatments, management plans for snoring
Treatment for snoring will vary depending on the cause of the condition. Some methods include:
- Dental mouthpieces – These can help position the tongue and soft palate. The mouthpieces also keep the airway open.
- Laser surgery – This procedure can shorten the soft palate and remove the uvula.
- Palatal implants – This involves the injection of braided polyester strands into the palate/roof of the mouth to stiffen it and reduce snoring.
- Surgery – This can help tighten and trim excess tissue in the airways, like a septoplasty for a severely deviated septum.
Some lifestyle changes can also help prevent snoring, such as:
- Exercising regularly – Exercising regularly can help prevent snoring because it can tone various muscles in the body, like your abs, arms, and legs. Working out will also help tone the muscles in your throat, which can lessen snoring.
- Not smoking – If you smoke, there’s a greater chance that you will start snoring. Smoking irritates the membranes in the nose and throat that may block the airways and result in snoring.
- Maintaining a healthy weight – Losing a little bit of weight can help reduce fatty tissue in the back of the throat. This will reduce, or even prevent, snoring.
- Snacking lightly before bedtime – Don’t eat large meals or snack on dairy/soy milk right before you go to sleep. This can worsen your snoring.
Where to learn more
Snoring is the sound that a person makes when their breathing is blocked while they are asleep.
Apart from loud snoring, sleep apnea may cause side effects like daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating or remembering things, and insomnia.
Snoring may cause complications like heart disease, high blood pressure/hypertension, or relationship conflict.
Eucalyptus; fenugreek, fiber, and spearmint; immature bitter orange; and peppermint and goldenseal can help prevent snoring or address its side effects.
Treatment for snoring will vary depending on the cause of the condition. Some methods include dental mouthpieces, laser surgery, palatal implants, surgery, and masks.