With the fast pace of lifestyle and the round the clock activities, sleep disorder is very common. Though it is a problem people always have made fun of, snoring can be a serious problem and could also indicate a potentially life-threatening condition like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Hence it is very important to know what snoring is, what causes it and how it could be cured.
What is snoring?
Snoring is a condition that occurs when the flow of air is obstructed while you’re sleeping. Basically, the back of your mouth and nose is covered with soft tissues. The soft palate at the back of your throat is the main culprit for your snore. It is present where you can see the uvula, fleshy mass hanging from the roof of your mouth, like a punching bag. With every incoming breath, the palate vibrates thereby obstructing the airflow, causing snoring.
Not everyone is blessed with enough space in their nose and throats to have a soundless sleep. There are a lot of people who snore because they have narrow airways (permanently or temporarily).
Some of you might suddenly start snoring when you suffer from flu, blocked sinuses or allergies. It happens because your nose gets blocked and you start breathing through your mouth. When you breathe through your mouth here’s what exactly happens: Your tongue is pushed a bit backwards, the dangling uvula bends towards the roof and the soft palate starts vibrating which creates the sound.
People who have throat infection or tonsillitis have a bit swelling in their throat which can obstruct the airways. Such type of snoring is not serious and goes away once you fully recover. Nasal polyps (soft outgrowth on the linings of the nasal passage) can also cause snoring. People who have a deviated septum also have obstructed airways. Snoring is also found to be genetic. So if the above reasons are not relevant to you, it’s possible that you snore because your parents do.
Sleeping well is essential for your health. But when that good night’s shut eye is disrupted with the annoying snores of your spouse it can be quite annoying.
(To read more on this article, subscribe to Safety Messenger Magazine Issue March 2016)