Snoring is noisy breathing during sleep. It can
happen when you are breathing in or breathing out. Forty per cent of all adults
snore, but it is most common in men, especially older, middle-aged and obese
Snoring occurs when air cannot flow smoothly through
your air passages. It can also occur when there are structures in your air passages
that vibrate while you breathe. There may be several causes:
- Sleeping on your back this position allows
your tongue to fall backward into your throat and partially block your throat,
making a smaller passage for air. As air passes over your tongue, it may vibrate
and make noise.
- Buckteeth, a very small lower jaw or a very
long soft palate (the soft part of the back of the roof of the mouth) can
contribute to the problem.
- Blockage in the nose this can be caused
by colds, sinus infections or following an injury that changed the shape of
your nose or nasal passages. Enlarged adenoids (tonsil-like tissue at the
back of your nose where the nose joins the upper throat) can also cause snoring
by blocking the airway and vibrating while you breathe.
- Weight gain the air passages become smaller
due to the accumulation of fat under the tissue lining the airway and a heavier
chest increases the pressure on the airways.
- Medication or alcohol alcohol, sleeping
pills, antihistamines, and pain medication cause excessive relaxation and
can also cause snoring.
- Sleep apnoea this means short spells
when breathing stops while you are asleep. Apnoea can occur many times during
the night. The symptoms include snoring, fatigue, and a tendency to fall asleep
during the day. There can also be complications, such as heart rhythm problems,
so you should consult your doctor if you suspect that you may have sleep apnoea.
can I do?
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Take medication to unclog your nasal passages.
- Sleep on your side or your stomach.
- Do not take sleeping pills, sedatives or alcohol
before going to bed.
- Raise the head of the bed or mattress so that
it is higher than the foot of the bed. Dont use more pillows, as these
can cause more breathing problems.
- Ask your doctor for advice.
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