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Snoring: Causes, Health Risks & Treatments

Snoring Treatment

Why do we Snore?

In simple terms, we snore when our body is not able to move air freely through the nose and throat - while we are asleep. In terms of anatomy, snoring is a result of a partially closed upper airway or the upper respiratory tract – that includes the nose and throat. Excessive relaxation of the neck muscles is the leading reason for snoring. This is because the upper airway partly closes and becomes too narrow, and it causes very little air to pass through to the lungs.

What are the leading causes of snoring:

There are several factors that lead to snoring. These range from your body weight, to age and built.

  • Body weight - Being overweight is one of the foremost causes for snoring. If your Body Mass Index(BMI) is on the higher side, you are more prone to snoring. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, consuming a healthy diet, and sleeping and waking early, will largely help to regulate your body weight, and eventually lead to less or no snoring.
  • Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs - Smoking and consuming alcohol disturb the muscles of the throat and upper airway, thereby causing breathing problems, and ultimately snoring. Some drugs and medications also cause snoring, as they cause excessive muscle relaxation.
  • Built - Body structure and physical attributes of individuals are a significant cause for snoring. This means men are more likely to snore than women, as they have narrower air passages. Genetic disorders that give way to narrow throat, cleft palate, and enlarged adenoids, also cause snoring among many people.
  • Age - Once your body starts to age, the throat becomes narrower. This causes the muscle tone in throat to lessen, and this leads to snoring. Growing old is inevitable, but snoring can be controlled with some lifestyle changes, setting proper routine for bedtime, and throat exercises.
  • Blocked nose or nasal cavity - Changes in climate and pollution often the prime reason for a blocked nose or congestion, due to cold or allergy. This in turn, makes breathing a cumbersome job, which creates a vacuum in the throat, thus giving way to snoring.

Impact of snoring

Snoring disrupts your sleep in more ways than one, and disturbs your bed partner, or people sleeping nearby. However, it poses some serious health risks too!

  • Drop in Blood Oxygen Levels - The most immediate result of snoring is a drop in blood oxygen levels. A normal blood oxygen level should be in the range of 94%-98%. Not breathing normally due to snoring for 30 seconds or more, results in the blood oxygen level to drop to 80% or lesser. Any level below 90% is dangerous to the body and require your instant attention.
  • Day-time Sleepiness - Since snoring leads to improper breathing and fragmented sleep, the most noticeable outcome is day-time sleepiness. Thus, this give way to irritable behavior, automobile accidents, and even depression in some cases.
  • Headaches - Waking up with a headache is one of the most common effects of snoring. Researchers have found a link between snoring and other sleep disorders with morning headaches. Constant headaches during the entire day can also be caused to habitual snorers. This often leads to irritation and fluctuations in mood.
  • Heart Diseases - Sleep disorders are connected to possible heart failures and attacks, due to cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure. Studies also state that people with sleep apnea are twice at risk to get heart diseases and heart attacks. Moreover, people also run the risk of developing irregular heart rhythm(Arrhythmia) due to snoring.
  • Strokes - The more you snore, the greater is the risk for you to get a stroke. This is because the intensity of snoring can narrow arteries in the neck, due to fatty deposits.
  • Accidents - Sleep apnea due to snoring can cause you to feel sleepy during daytime. This can often result people to fall asleep while driving or other activities that needs good amount of attention. Thus, this paves way for uncalled road accidents.
  • Mental Health Concerns - As talked earlier, snoring can lead to increased irritability in mood, and sometimes can even cause anxiety and mild depression.

What are the treatment options for your snoring?

Proper screening to assess the underlying causes are required to prescribe efficient treatment options.

Treatment options for your snoring depend on a number of factors, but the two key ones depend on whether you snore through your nose or through your throat and whether you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

We have solutions for throat snorers, as well as for throat snorers with sleep apnea. This includes both mild to moderate OSA as well as more severe cases of OSA. Proper screening to assess the underlying causes are required to prescribe efficient treatment options. Please consult with your physician to know more.

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common sleep disorder. This is mainly characterized by repeated upper airway disturbances during sleep, which causes breathing to stop for some seconds, throughout the night.

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CPAP Therapy

Miroteck Systems & Solutions provides a seamless therapy system designed to work across the entire patient pathway – from the initial sleep screening, through to every stage of therapy, and healthcare informatics.

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