Are you really sleeping? – adult snoring
It might be amusing to know that almost half of the world’s population snores. About 45% are occasional snorers, 25% of whom are chronic snorers. More than just being a nuisance, snoring can be a sign of a health problem. Recent studies have linked snoring with sleep apnea and illnesses like high blood pressure, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, type II diabetes, and premature death.
The snoring sound is formed in the air passages and is a result of an obstruction to the free flow of air. This obstruction to the air causes the soft tissues to vibrate producing the snore. There are many causes of adult snoring: poor muscle tone, excessive bulk of throat tissue, thick soft palate, extraordinarily long uvula, stuffed nasal passages, deviated septum (the cartilage diving the nose), and enlarged tonsils and adenoids.
Effects of snoring and OSA or obstructive sleep apnea
Adult snoring is a symptom of a sleeping disorder called sleep apnea and in this condition a person stops breathing for a minimum of 10-30 seconds; occurring several times a night that results to sleep and oxygen deprivation. Oxygen and sleep deprivation adversely affects the body. The person suffering from sleep apnea tends to feel tired and fatigued during the day resulting to decreased productivity, irritable, have poor mental health, and has a vulnerable immune system.
Pregnant women who snore are also in a risk of retarding their unborn baby’s growth. Studies noted that women who snored during the course of their pregnancy gave birth to babies with lower birth weight and low APGAR scores (heart rate, skin tone, reflex, breathing).
Is there help in snoring?
Having regular exercise to lose weight, avoiding sedatives, antihistamines may relieve mild or occasional cases of snoring. A full stomach, and alcohol before bedtime as these relax the neck muscles resulting in collapsing soft tissues, sleeping on your side, and elevating your body, from the waist up, to about 4 inches.
Adult snoring of the excessive or chronic type, need medical examination to determine the cause of snoring. The range of today’s medical treatments for adult snoring (chronic) varies from simple, non-invasive orthodontic appliances to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP, and to more complex Laser-Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty (LAUP).
CPAP helps adult snoring by blowing continued pressure on a person’s air passage to rid of obstructions. Many adult snoring is cured using this device although it takes practice and needs the support of loved ones. LAUP has not been widely used yet but is considered an alternative by doctors for mild OSA that are not treated using CPAP.