Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping. In some cases, the sound may be soft, but in other cases, it can be loud and unpleasant. Snoring during sleep may be a sign, or first alarm, of obstructive sleep apnea . Researchers say that snoring is a factor of sleep deprivation.
Signs and symptoms
Snoring is known to cause sleep deprivation to snorers and those around them, as well as daytime drowsiness, irritability, lack of focus and decreased libido. It has also been suggested that it can cause significant psychological and social damage to sufferers. Multiple studies reveal a positive correlation between loud snoring and risk of heart attack and stroke .
The irregular airflow is caused by a passageway blockage and is usually due to one of the following:
- · Throat weakness, causing the throat to close during sleep.· Mispositioned jaw, often caused by tension in the muscles.· Fat gathering in and around the throat.· Obstruction in the nasal passageway.· Obstructive sleep apnea.· The tissues at the top of airways touching each other, causing vibrations.· Relaxants such as alcohol or other drugs relaxing throat muscles.· Sleeping on one's back, which may result in the tongue dropping to the back of the mouth.
Almost all treatments for snoring revolve around clearing the blockage in the breathing passage. This is the reason snorers are advised to lose weight, stop smoking and sleep on their side . A number of other treatment options are also available, ranging from over-the-counter aids such as nasal sprays, nasal strips or nose clips, lubricating sprays, oral appliances and "anti-snore" clothing and pillows, to such unusual activities as playing the didgeridoo. Specially designed laser treatments can also be used to reduce the inflammation and elevate the soft palate and uvula.