Quick Review Of Snoring And Its Relationship To Sleep Apnea

By: Debbie Allen

Do you snore? If so you are definitely not alone. It is estimated that 30 to 50 percent of all adults snore and the susceptibility increases with age. But snoring alone does not mean that you have sleep apnea...in fact, in most cases snoring is not harmful.

Snoring

Snoring is caused by an obstructed airflow movement during breathing while sleeping. The noise made is caused by the vibration of the respiratory structures.

There are several possible causes for snoring, including the following:
1)Throat weakness;in this case the throat tends to close during sleep
2)Mis-positioned jaw; resulting in tension in muscles
3)Fat gathering in and around the throat
4)An obstruction in the nasal passageway

If you snore your weight may be a possible culprit. Losing weight may end the snoring. Smokers are more likely to snore than non-smokers. Most people that do snore have an increased tendency for the activity when sleeping on their back.

A common method to discourage sleeping on the back is to sew a tennis ball or similar object into the back of the shirt or pajamas you sleep in. This will certainly make that position uncomfortable and cause you to roll over.

Alcohol and certain foods have also been associated with snoring. Additionally, some pain medications can result in snoring.

Snoring can be embarrassing and it can put strains on personal relationships. It often results in sleep deprivation and there is a correlation between loud snoring and an increased risk of heart attacks. Obviously snoring should be taken seriously.

Sleep Apnea

Persons with sleep apnea usually snore but sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. Each pause (or apnea) lasts long enough that one or more breaths are missed; there will usually be about a 10 second interval between breaths.

Sleep apnea has been associated with hypertension. The pauses in breathing can strain the heart and cardiovascular system resulting in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This is related to the fact that the blood oxygen levels are decreased.

This process of pauses repeats itself throughout the sleep. The individual is usually not aware of the problem and therefore sleep apnea may be present for months or even years before it is recognized as an issue.

Many sufferers of sleep disorders adjust to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with the sleep disturbance and therefore do not seek treatment. Individuals that live alone may not discover that there is a sleep disorder at all for a long period of time.

If you do suffer with snoring the best advice is to seek treatment. There are many natural remedies that can be tried but if you do not find relief with those then professional help is recommended.

Sleep Disorders
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