Why People Snore and How to Stop Snoring

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Health SnoreI used to share a room with my elder brother, when I was a little girl. We played together, made smoke screen in the elevator out of a piece of plastic and foil, had brutal box fights without boxing-gloves. We had many different things and situations, which kids normally have. But sometimes I had no sleep because of him. It happened when he got cold. In the middle of the night he started to snore, louder and louder, it was absolutely impossible to sleep, until I threw something heavy to the wardrobe and he stopped. After some minutes of silence I heard his snore again.

This noisy, annoying sound is caused by the vibrations of soft tissues, which are located at the back of the throat. If someone has too much tissue at the back of their mouth, the palate, uvula and tonsils are flapping against each other. The same thing is caused, when an obstruction blocks the air passageway to the back of the throat.

Reasons why people snore

People snore because of:

  • throat and tounge muscle weakness,
  • obstructed nasal airways,
  • fat gathering in or around the throat,
  • long soft palate or uvula tissue in the back of the mouth,
  • misposition of the jaw as a result of muscle tension.

Snoring has such effects as irritability, lack of focus, decreased libido, daytime sleepiness. Snoring also causes psychological and social damage, it strains social relationships. It is proven, that marital relationships significantly improve after the surgical correction of snoring. So, maybe, you only need to stop snoring to be happy with your partner?

Here are some facts about snoring:

  • 20% of Americans has snoring problem.
  • Men have more problems with snoring, than women.
  • Snoring is louder, when a person sleeps on their back.
  • People with excess weigh have snoring problems much more often, than thin ones.

Snoring is Life threatening

Snoring is harmful not only for those who are trying to sleep while the other one is snoring. Snoring is dangerous. Maybe you have heard of dying during sleep? Snorers are the first listed in this risk group. Sometimes. when one is snoring, they get pauses in breathing, which prevent the air flow into or out of a sleeping person’s airways. This is the first symptom of sleep apnea, a life threatening sleep disorder. People having sleep apnea awaken frequently during the night gasping for breath. Really life threatening can be the situation, when the breathing pauses happen 30-40 times per hour. Every such pause reduces blood oxygen levels, strain the heart and cardiovascular system and, thus, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Regular snoring is also associated with hypertension. If you snore doudly or regularly, if you have breathing pauses during your sleep, you should consult a physician. There exist about 300 devices that help to cure snoring patented in the USA.

Good Sleep

Snore treatment

Snoring is recognized by a partner, friend or family member who observes the sleeping person. After you get to know, that you snore, you get embarrassed and feel uncomfortable. You cannot notice, that you snore, and you cannot control it, but other people notice it very well and sometimes get irritated with you. There exist different treatment methods for snorers.

Positive airway pressure

In order to cure snoring there was invented a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mashine, which keeps the airway open and lets the air flow. This device (about 40×20 cm) pumps a controlled air stream to a mask which is worn over the nose or mouth, with the help of a hose.

Surgery

Surgical solutions are also available, if you want to stop snoring. During such procedures as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty the doctor removes tissues in the back of the patient’s throat and, thus, widen the airway. But you surely should consult your physician about the side effects of such procedures. The American Medical Association does not approve of the use of lazer during the operations on the uvula or pharnyx, because it is difficult to predict, how much the patient is predisposed to scarring after such procedures. But such operations are often made, for example, in Germany with success, glad patients and their happy relatives.

Apart from uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, there also exist a newer surgical treatment for snoring usually performed on an outpatient basis, which is called Radiofrequency ablation (RFA). During this procedure radiofrequency energy and heat are applied to the soft tissue at the back of the throat. This causes scarring of the tissue beneath the skin, but after healing the treated area stiffens. Usually you need several procedures, each of them takes less than one hour. Comparing to the previous method, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty provides minimal discomfort and pain.

Dental appliances

One of the devices against snoring is mandibular advancement splint. Such dental appliances advance the lower jaw slightly and leave the tongue forward. They help reduce snoring and sleep apnea, however they have side effects, such as the change of the snorer’s bite.

There also exist cheeper variants of dental appliances, called “Do it yourself” dental appliances. They also hold the lower jaw forward to move the tongue forward and look similar to the mouth-guards used for sports. But they are considered to be medical devices of the second class and are illegal in the USA. They also have side effects, such as Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), which is the inflammation of the jaw joint, but, for example, brackets used to correct the bite can also cause it. Such dental appliances for snorers are sold illegally in the Internet and are legal in some countries.

But some people need neither surgical operations, nor dental appliances, nor other devices to stop snoring. They just need to change their diet, or lose weight, or follow regular sleeping patterns. It can also be helpful to remove allergy triggers from the snorer’s bedroom or treat a cold. But in case of sleep apnea a person needs to consult a physician. Anyway different aids and procedures may work for different people.

Snore deprives people of necessary rest: both those who snore and those who hear it. In some cases it can be life threatening. But modern medicine makes it possible to heal the snorer and make everyone get their Zzz. Good night.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Sharafat, as far as I know, there are no pills that could cure snoring directly. If one suffers from snoring because of the common cold, the pills they take may indirectly help, but, of course, they can’t be called the remedy for snoring. The same thing with allergy and other snoring causes. It seems, there are different treatments for snorers, but not pills. If someone knows pills against snoring, please, let me know.

  2. David, thank you for you tip.
    I live in Canada and especially during this season the air is extremely dry, which causes my husband to snore badly. We have tried almost everything.
    I found it very helpful. Good discussion.
    Thanks

    Sema

  3. In the area where you mention dental appliances you wrote-

    “But they are considered to be medical devices of the second class and are illegal in the USA”

    This is in fact incorrect. They are not considered second class… Rather they are classified as ‘Class 2 Medical Devices’ – which means that they require a doctors prescription in order to be purchased.

    These devices are probably the most cost effective and reliable products within their price range being available to the public.

    In most other countries they are considered ‘Class 1 Medical Devices’ which means that they can be purchased without a prescription.

    See here at

    slumberguard.com.au

  4. Everyone – thank you for your comments; it’s really interesting and helpful.
    I found a source that rates the forums and discussions about snoring disorders and available treatment and present the best, most viewed and popular ones. It helped me to find a solution for my weakening throat muscles.
    http://maniarating.com/

  5. The snoring mouthpieces have been on the market for at least 10 years and offer effective snoring relief. They have just passed FDA approval in the United States (prescription only) but have been selling globally since clinical trials showed significant improvement for snorers and mild obstructive sleep apnea patients.
    It is also incorrect that a mouthpiece causes a change of bite. The mouthpiece is only used for a duration of maximum 8hrs a day and only holds the lower jaw forward by aproximately 7mm or .25inch and the jaw returns to it’s natural position.
    Initially there is some discomfort, but this is paralleled to starting a gym class, the muscles and tendons are being temporarily stretched and once the mouthpiece is used daily the discomfort subsides.
    A study in the UK of 25 heavy snorers found that use of “mandibular advancement appliances,” i.e., mouthpieces, was effective in reducing snoring loudness for 84 per cent of the subjects while 76 per cent said they were snoring on fewer nights per week.

  6. Another good idea to stop snoring is by using snoring pyjamas. Most people who snore generally do so when lying on their back. Basically, you sew a pocket (or even just a sock) on to the back of your pajamas and place a tennis ball inside. When you roll on to your back in your sleep the ball will make you change position as it is so uncomfortable!

  7. Just to clarify, not all snorers have sleep apnoea. In the majority of people, snoring is benign. Yes it is a nuisance for whoever is sharing your bed but otherwise harmless

    Sleep apnoea on the other hand which is the cessation of breathing for more than 10 seconds is life threatening.

    Symptoms include extreme tiredness and falling asleep during the day

    If you suspect you have sleep apnoea I urge you to see your physician immediately

  8. I made my husband try a couple of the nasal sprays and they did nothing. But we ended up buying a mouthguard thingy that you mould to your teeth. I thought it was going to be crap, but it was cheaper than surgery so we gave it a go and it actually helped him. I’ll now allow him in my bed ha!

    so if anyone is thinking about the mouthguard thing i bought a snorers friend from http://www.stopthatsnoring.com but i also think there are quite a few others around.

    Also Alfredo-s I totally agree with your comment – the pillow shoved down on the face is all too tempting at 3am when you’ve haven’t managed a wink yet!

  9. Hi all

    I am from South Africa I also have a problem snoring, I sometimes here myself in my sleep. I think my problem is extreme. it has affected my relationship very badly. everytime I wake up I found my wife sleepin the other room becuaase of my snoring.

  10. Hi, I found the chinstrap to work the best for me, but as like a lot of cures different ones will work for some people. You just have to work out what type of snorer you are and find the device that fits your problem. Mouthpieces and chinstraps are my choice, as well as losing some weight.

  11. Why is this “article” full of spelling errors and lacking in the proper notations? At least spell correctly, and adjust your grammar properly; you have too many commas in your sentences.

  12. It’s better to avoid alcohol before going to bed, alcohol might relax the muscles of the upper airway and cause obstruction. If you are using cpap machine you can afford to drink some alcohol if you wish.

  13. My boyfriend is very thin, but sometimes his snoring get pretty bad. I noticed it only really starts if we’re cuddling and I find myself laying my head on his chest under his chin. I’m guessing that particular position is obstructing his breathing?

  14. Every answer I got on why do people snore actually explains HOW do people snore, but never the why. WHY do people snore?

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