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Snoring

Snoring is no small matter; in fact, it’s arguably one of the most common sleep disorder ailments that can affect a human being.

Most surveys peg men as the primary snoring culprit at a ratio of about 2:1 compared to women.

Why?

Because men’s necks are typically larger and contain more soft tissues.

The actual sound (like a buzzing saw) is produced in the windpipe; and the smaller the airway within the windpipe, the stronger the vibration and alas, the louder the sound.

Serious Problem?

For most people, snorers and non-snorers alike, the view of snoring is that it’s an “agitation”; something that is annoying, but not a serious health problem. And some of these people are correct; yet many of them, to their surprise, are not.

Understanding that snoring is a serious problem is actually a life and death issue for millions of people; not necessarily for the snorers, but for those that they affect. A snoring partner (or just a snorer in the next room) can cause an array of adverse health conditions for his or her non-snoring victim, including: extreme fatigue, high stress, headaches, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, anxiety, anger, depression, irritability, misery, and an overall lower quality of life.

And what about the snorer himself; or less often, herself? Snoring can actually lead to a condition called sleep apnea, which occurs when a person ceases breathing during sleep. While snoring doesn’t automatically lead to cases of sleep apnea, it is a risk; and snorers are thus advised to consult with their physician to see if they can pro-actively cut down on some risk factors.

Causes of Snoring

There are a few major factors that contribute to snoring, including:

  • Obesity and excess weight can cause snoring (it shortens the neck relative to the size of the body.)
  • Drinking alcohol can cause snoring, as can sleeping pills and tranquilizers (as the body becomes “too relaxed”.)
  • Smoking can cause throat and nose irritations, which can lead to snoring.
  • A broken nose or blocked nasal passages can lead to snoring.
  • Hypothyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) can lead to snoring.
  • Some allergies can cause snoring (when congestion is involved.)

Treating Snoring

Some common and effective remedies have been introduced to help minimize or stop snoring. These include the use of nasal dilators, tongue-retraining devices (to keep airways open and stop the snoring “vibration”), and even some surgical procedures to increase airflow through the windpipe. Sleep Disorder Centers and “Sleep Labs” are established in most major cities, and provide both education, sleep studies and, if necessary, medical recommendations for dealing with snoring.

Some interesting research is being conducted to solve this global problem, including performing surgery via radio frequencies. This is a less invasive way of performing snoring surgery, and is earning some acclaim from those who don’t feel that traditional surgery is a safe long-term means of dealing with snoring.

In addition, some reports suggest that the female hormone progestertone helps prevent some women from snoring. It has been given therapeutically to some snoring men as a snoring remedy, and the results have been positive.

Drew Voight

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