Top 7 symptoms of snoring
Vibration in our vocal cord helps us form some sounds and we call it as speech. Likewise, while we sleep, airflow causes our nose and throat tissues to vibrate. But the sound comes out of this vibration is not very sweet like our speech but rough and throaty. We call this sound as snoring. Snoring happens when our breathing is hindered while we’re sleeping.
Everyone snores occasionally but when it affects our sleep, then it becomes a concern not only for the person who snores but for the whole family. Sleepless nights or inadequate sleep result in irritability and extreme tiredness in the day time.
Men snore more than women. 25% of the snorers are habitual snorers.
Whenever the airways are narrowed down or blocked, the snoring starts. The main contributors are:
People who have obstruction in their nasal passages breathe through their noses. The obstruction is caused by allergies, sinus infections, tonsils, swollen turbinate. People who breathe through their mouths are called ‘mouth breathers’. Most of them snore because of the airflow through the mouth vibrates the tissues.
The soft palate is a flap of tissue in the back of the mouth. It opens when we breathe through our nose and closes while we swallow food to allow food entering in the esophagus or the food pipe. If it is too long or floppy, then it vibrates and cause snoring.
The uvula is situated at the back of the soft palate. It if is abnormally long or thick, can also cause snoring.
When we have throat infection, the tonsils swell. They don’t return to their original size even after the infection is treated. They remain swollen and can narrow the airways and cause snoring.
For some people the base of the tongue is large and so it narrows the airway. In some other cases the tongue slips backwards narrowing the airways. These actions lead to snoring.
Stages of our sleep:
While sleeping we go through many stages. However, they are classified into two groups; one is REM (rapid eye movement) and another is non-REM. Though people snore in all the stages, it is commonly noted that we snore more in REM stage. During this REM stage, our brain signals all the muscles to relax except breathing muscle. While relaxing, the tongue, palate and throat collapse and narrow down the airway which in turn produces snoring.
Sleeping posture: Snoring occurs when we sleep on our back. Our body tissues are pulled by the gravity. What happens with the tissues of pharynx is, since they are soft and floppy, gravity pulls the palate, tonsils and tongue backwards. So the snoring occurs. By making the snorer to role onto his/her side, the snoring can be lessened.
There are some other factors that are common causes of snoring:
Age, body structure, nasal and sinus problems, obesity, intake of alcohol and smoking cause snoring in general
Symptoms of snoring:
- Daytime sleepiness – : Snorers don’t get a complete sleep. Their sleep is disturbed many times. They wake up many times to change their sleeping posture. Otherwise, they are woken up by their partners not to snore or snore with less noise. So they feel sleepy during the day time. They fall asleep during the meals or while watching TV
- Sore throat: most of the snores sleep with their mouth open to get enough air or to ease the airway and thus, experience a dry throat. Sometimes sore throat wakes them up from their sleep and deprives them enough sleep.
- Relationship problems: When your partner snores, it is understandable that you too don’t get enough sleep. Your sleep is also disturbed. You become irritated and start commenting about your partner’s noisy, intolerable snoring spells. Or you choose to go to another room to sleep. This certainly hurts your partner and there is a friction in the relationship.
- Restless sleep: There is lots of movement in the bed at night because snoring prevents you from getting a deep sleep. You adjust your sleeping position, or you feel sore throat and experience restless sleep.
- Trouble concentrating: Since there are many sleepless night, concentration becomes a concern.
- High blood pressure: Sleepless nights, daytime sleepiness result in irritability and not getting enough sleep makes you prone to high blood pressure.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder, wherein many pauses in breathing and low breathing occur while a person is sleeping. Pause in breathing is called apnea and low breathing is known as hypopnea. Sometimes the breathing is stopped completely and there is a 4% drop in oxygen in the blood.
Sleep apnea should be diagnosed and treated properly. Otherwise complications like hypertension, heart attack, irregular heart rate, pulmonary hypertension or even death.
Talk to your doctor and get some help to lower your snoring sound and beware of the complication that your snoring may lead to.
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