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Causes And Treatment Of Snoring
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During breathing while one is asleep, obstructed air movement causes vibration of respiratory structures, which in turn causes a noise commonly known as snoring.
Snoring may be (not necessarily) a symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea, a sleep disorder caused by obstruction of the upper airway of the respiratory system.
Causes of snoring:
Snoring, caused by irregular or blocked airflow due to a passageway blockage is usually due to any of the following causes:
• Sleeping on one's back, which might cause one’s tongue to drop to the back of the mouth.
• Improperly positioned jaw, which is usually caused by tension in the muscles.
• Gathering of fat inside and around the throat.
• Obstruction in the nasal passageway.
• Throat weakness leading the throat to close during sleep.
• Touching of the tissues at the top of airways, leading to vibrations in the throat.
• Some medications can lead to enhanced relaxation of muscles during sleep. When this causes the muscles of the palate, tongue, neck, and pharynx to relax more than normal, the airway gets blocked. This causes greater tissue vibration and hence causes or increase snoring.
• The problem of enlarged adenoids or tonsils is common among the causes of snoring in children.
Treatment of snoring:
There are a number of ways to stop snoring. Most of them revolve around clearing the blockage in the breathing passage and hence get rid of snoring.
• To reduce fat inside and around the throat, people suffering from snoring are advised to lose weight and burn fat, hence clearing the blockage in the throat. This is a treatment that requires lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity and decreased consumption of fatty foods.
• Smoking weakens and clogs the throat; hence people suffering from snoring are advised to stop smoking as a treatment for snoring. This is also a lifestyle change treatment as a doctor has less to do than the patient in this treatment.
• People suffering from snoring are advised to sleep on their side to avoid blockage of the throat by the tongue, again requiring a lifestyle change as the person needs to avoid sleeping on the back and instead adapt to the change of sleeping on a side.
• A common treatment for snoring is the use of specially made dental appliances called mandibular advancement splints, which advance the lower jaw slightly forward and hence pull the tongue forward, thereby clearing the pathway of the throat.
• Snoring mouthpieces or snoring mouth guards are devices designed to adjust the mouth in such a way that the pathway of the throat remains clear, hence treating snoring as long as they are being used.
• Removing tissues from the throat through surgery is also an available treatment method for snoring.
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