Snoring is the loud and hoarse sound you make while you sleep. You might not hear it for yourself, but the person sleeping beside you could (and in some cases, they might be awakened by it too).
Snoring occurs when you breathe in your sleep and the air that passes causes vibrations in your throat. In much the same way that there are vibrations in your throat when you speak, snoring is a product of those vibrations in the same area. You might be wondering now why you can’t snore while you’re awake. The simple explanation for this is that when you are asleep, the muscles in your throat start to relax and as they do, they temporarily close or narrow down. Since there’s not much space for air to pass through, the encounter with those relaxed muscles will produce the rasping sound. This condition is often dismissed by people saying that it’s ordinary and no medicine or treatment is needed. However, snoring can be more serious than that.
There are several reasons as to why there are vibrations in your throat when you breathe. The first one is when you are obese or overweight. People who are fatter than necessary tend to have more tissues in their throats that contribute to furthering narrowing of the air’s passageway. There are also some cases where you don’t have to be overweight to snore. In fact, there are people who are born with thicker and more tissues in the throat.
The second cause is by drinking too much alcohol especially right before bedtime. Even if you’re fit, you can’t avoid snoring when you just came from drinking lots of alcohol. Notice how you end up snoring after a night of drinks. This is because alcohol reinforces your throat’s muscles to relax even more. As they end up relaxing so much, the airway gets narrower. Another cause of snoring is having nasal problems like colds. Colds can cause you to breathe using your mouth and this creates the noise. Lastly, you can end up snoring just by lying down in a certain position. This position is when you lie flat on your back with your head propped up on a thin pillow.
Now that you know the main causes for snoring, the next thing you want to do is to find ways on how to prevent or stop it. The first cause is obesity, so the way to combat this is to lose weight. Losing weight may be difficult as you have to be disciplined and committed to losing a few pounds. You are free to use any diet that is healthy and that works for you to lose weight. You can also prevent snoring by avoiding too much alcohol before you sleep, or avoiding it altogether. You should also avoid taking medication like sleeping pills that cause your muscles too overly relax. Another way to treat your snores so they would stop is by altering your sleeping position. You can do this in two ways. The first one would be sleeping at one side, and the second one is by putting a thicker pillow behind your head. This will prevent your throat tissues from blocking the air’s passageway.
If you are looking for more advanced ways to treat snoring, you can opt to try breathing devices. Breathing devices will prevent your tissues from blocking the air by holding your lower jaw down as well as your tongue. However, using these devices can be uncomfortable since you have to wear them every night and it needs getting used to. You can also use the CPAP or the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure wherein a mask that you put on your face produces pressurized air for you to inhale.
When it comes to surgeries, you can try the laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty that shortens the uvula so that it doesn’t block the air passageway. The surgery also includes making slits on your soft palate so that it won’t relax every time you sleep. You can also try having palatal implants that prevent your soft palate from relaxing and collapsing while you are asleep. If you aren’t familiar, the soft palate is part of the passageway found at the top of your mouth.