Snoring is a common problem for most of the population, irrespective of age and gender. People from across the world have their own stories to tell about it.
SNORING is a really annoying sound that one unintentionally makes while sleeping.
WHY DOES SNORING OCCUR?
It is caused due to a particular phenomenon, which is-
When a person is sleeping, the entire body’s muscles, along with the brain, relax.
During this time, the throat muscles also relax and become flexible. So, on breathing, the air enters this region and is expected to pass through and move to the lungs.
But, if the passage is narrow or if there is any barrier blocking the air, it stays there and creates a repel of vibrations that produce the sound of snoring.
Instead, if the air were allowed to pass through easily without restriction, there would be no vibration and no sound of snoring.
CAUSES OF SNORING
Thus, the cause of snoring can be –
1. A narrow nasal, oral, or throat passage
2. Inflammation in the nose is a barrier, e.g., Allergic Rhinitis, Rhinosinusitis, etc.
3. Inflammation of the tonsils in the mouth also acts as a barrier
4. Tongue fall (or heavy big tongue when rolling back while sleeping due to relaxation of tongue muscles) at the back of the throat block the airflow and causes snoring, and can also cause Obstructive sleep apnea due to blocked airflow
5. Sleeping on the back
7. Sleeping for less time
8. Mucus accumulation due to cold
10. Consuming alcohol in less than 2 hours before sleep
SYMPTOMS OF SNORING
– A loud vibrating sound while sleeping
– Continuously turning left and right while sleeping
– Irritation in the throat
– Dryness of mouth when the patient wakes up
– Headache, pain in the eyes, drooping face, and annoying mood swings due to lack of sleep
– Inflammation in the nasal passage
Other Severe Symptoms of SNORING are —
– Increased blood pressure
– Pain in the chest
– Difficulty in breathing
– Affects mental health in children
REMEDIES OF SNORING ––
1) HOME REMEDIES
To start with, certain ancient home remedies that can help to get rid of snoring are —
This oil can be applied to the nose to reduce inflammation and clear the nasal passage for easy airflow.
Peppermint oil mixed with water and gargled will also help clear the throat during infection and cold. Like this, it clears the oral passage as well. Thus, both ways, it reduces snoring.
A few drops of eucalyptus oil are added to boiling water, and the steam can be inhaled.
It is known to be a very good cure for colds and blocked noses.
It also dissolves the mucus accumulated around the eyes, nose, and forehead during sinus. Thus, it clears the nasal passage and allows easy airflow.
It is an ancient medicinal tree whose bark is consumed with salt to help clear nasal blockage and reduce snoring.
Musta or Nut grass:-
It has good anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling in the nose and gives instant relief from cold. Nut grass is ground and consumed with water or milk.
An equal amount of black pepper, cardamom, cumin seeds, and cinnamon are ground, and its fragrance is smelled 2-3 times a day to help cure a cold and reduce snoring.
It is inhaled on steaming to relieve cold and snoring problems.
It is added to boiling water, and the steam is inhaled, or they are crushed and smelled a few times.
Onion, garlic, and horseradish:-
These smelling vegetables are a good home remedy to cure swollen tonsils and cold and dry noses.
Alternative for people allergic to milk since allergies also cause snoring due to colds.
Pineapples, oranges, bananas:-
They are high in Melatonin hormone, which helps in sleeping.
Virgin olive oil:-
Olive oil acts as a good moisturizer for the nasal membrane and helps in relaxing its muscles to allow easy airflow and prevent snoring.
2) Lifestyle changes:-
Being overweight and having extra tissues in the throat will act as a barrier to airflow and cause snoring. Thus, regular exercise and a proper diet will reduce these extra cells and combat the problem.
It is important to maintain a balanced diet in order to lose weight. For this –
Consume an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables
Avoid junk food
Eat food with fewer calories and in less proportion
Give a time gap of at least 2-3 hours between each meal
Take the advice of a nutritionist if needed.
3) Sleeping Habits
Sleeping for a minimum of 7 hours is ideal for a healthy life. Less than that can cause snoring due to tiredness and irritation.
Sleeping sideways helps than sleeping upright because sleeping sideways allows easy air flow, whereas, while sleeping on the back, the tongue rolls back in the throat, which blocks the airflow.
Raising the side of the bed where we generally placed our head to an angle at the height of extra 4 inches will increase airflow in the slanting position and reduce snoring.
Consuming alcohol less than two hours before sleep will increase the chances of snoring.
It also increases snoring habits along with lung damage.
Avoid them as they tend to relax extra the throat muscles, which leads to vibrations on inhaling air.
3) MEDICAL DEVICES
Nasal strips and nasal dilators:-
Nasal strips are stuck across the bridge of the nose (middle region), whereas dilators are stuck between the two nostrils. Both devices help in increasing nasal passage and preventing snoring.
Oral or Dental devices:-
They are fitted in the mouth by a dentist. It increases the oral passage that was previously narrow.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP):-
It is a mask with air sent under a certain pressure that clears blocked passages and prevents snoring.
This is mostly given for allergies and colds.
- Anti-allergy medicines like cetirizine, levocetirizine, loratadine, Benadryl
- Nasal drops like flonase, nasacort
- Decongestants that prevent drying of mucus membranes like Sudafed, Sudafed PE
- Autoimmune allergy-treating medicines like Singular, zileuton, etc, are recommended.
4) SURGICAL METHODS
It is a surgical method to remove the excess tissues in the throat which block airflow.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA):-
This procedure uses radio waves to shrink cells of the soft palate in the mouth and stiffen its membrane to prevent vibrations when air is inhaled and thus reduce snoring.
Palatal implants or pillar procedure:-
It is a procedure where a braided polyester filament device is surgically placed at the top soft palate of the mouth. This will lead to stiffness of the skin there and reduce snoring.
Maxillomandibular advancement (MMA):-
It is a surgery done to shift the upper and lower jaw a little front from its original position. This is done for people who are facing difficulty in breathing and sleeping because of their facial structure that, by birth, offers restriction to airflow and causes snoring.
Hypoglossal nerve stimulation:-
It is a device implanted to control the opening of the passages through which air passes. This helps in keeping the passage wide open and avoiding restrictions on airflow.
Septoplasty and turbinate reduction:-
Abnormalities in the structure of the nose by birth (like deviated nasal septum, extra growth in the nasal passage, etc.) can be corrected through surgery.
This kind of surgery of the septum is called septoplasty.
A small portion of the bone where the tongue is attached is cut and pulled forward to make it firm, by which it relaxes less on sleeping and reduces snoring.
Here, the portion of the tongue and epiglottis is moved forwards, which clears the breathing passage.
Midline glossectomy and Lingualplasty:-
The middle and back region of the tongue is removed along with partially cut nostrils and epiglottis.
But ultimately, if the symptoms tend to get severe with extreme insomnia, it is recommended to see the doctor at the earliest.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER:
This blog, including information, content, references, and opinions, is for informational purposes only.
The Author does not provide any medical advice on this platform.
Viewing, accessing, or reading this blog does not establish any doctor-patient relationship.
The information provided in this blog does not replace the services and opinions of a qualified medical professional who examines you and then prescribes medicines.
And if you have any questions of medical nature, please refer to your doctor or qualified medical personnel for evaluation and management at a clinic/hospital near you.
The content provided in this blog represents the Author’s own interpretation of research articles.