Snoring solutions

Snoring is a very common problem with adults. It is reported to affect at least 30% of the population of those who are in the age range of 30-40 years of age. 40% of those people over the age of 40 complain of snoring. There are complaints of snoring that are logged by over 65% of all those who are partnered with a spouse or significant other. Last but not least 60% of all individuals report that they snore at some point and time in their life.

This seems like a problem that most people have but do not know how to resolve. It is even a problem for the family members of those who snore. The spouse or significant other of someone who snores frequently loses sleep on a regular basis. This can lead to problems in relationships as well as problems with staying awake during the day if the sleep deprivation is significant. Worse, a lot of chronic snoring problems may be indicative of obstructive sleep apnea which is a medical condition that can lead to other problems in a person’s daily life.

So what exactly causes snoring? Most snoring is caused when a person lies on their back when they sleep. The mouth falls open and the tongue or some of the soft tissue in the back of the mouth can fall down over the breathing passages. This causes a partial or complete obstruction of breathing and the noisy breathing or snoring ensues. This is one of the precursors as stated above to obstructive sleep apnea.

In obstructive sleep apnea the obstruction over the breathing passage causes loud snoring then a period of time where the breath is absent. The person is then awakened slightly and starts breathing again. The cycle of noisy breathing restarts which is then followed by a period of apnea or absence of breath. These cycles can repeat from ten to hundreds of times per night. This disorder keeps the person from falling into the deep sleep or REM sleep that our body needs to fully rejuvenate and rest for the next day. People who have this disorder are tired all the time, frequently fall asleep and have other issues. Anyone who thinks they have this disorder should be evaluated by a physician.

Chronic snoring should be evaluated by a physician to rule out medical issues such as the one noted above. If there are no other problems found then there are some easy ways to help alleviate snoring for the person who has the problem and their partners. The first rule of thumb is to never sleep on a person’s back. The person should sleep on one side or the other. In order to make sure they stay on their side, they can use pillows to prop them up. These pillows can be placed behind the back. Another tried and true method is to Velcro or sew a tennis ball into the shoulder or waistband of pajamas to keep the person off their back while sleeping.

There are special pillows that can be purchased that are designed to help keep the chin and jaw forward. These do not allow the mouth to fall open which facilitates the snoring. There are also chin and jaw straps that can be obtained through medical means that do the same thing.

Breathe right strips are another way to help increase the amount of air into the breathing passages of the throat and lungs. These can be purchased through the pharmacy or other retailers without a prescription. Adding humidity to the air through a humidifier while sleeping is another way to help alleviate breathing problems. Eucalyptus or Camphor essential oils can be added to the water in the humidifier to further help breathing problems.

There are prescription inhalers and medications that can help decongest the sinuses and help with some snoring issues. For severe sinus problems and for sleep apnea there are breathing apparatus that can be obtained with a prescription. CPAP or a positive breathing apparatus can be very beneficial to people who have either chronic snoring or sleep apnea. There are some surgeries that can be done for people with chronic snoring issues that have not had any luck with conservative means.

Last updated on Feb 14th, 2011 and filed under Sleep Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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