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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Snoring: Benign or Malignant?

  A famous writer once said:
"Ain't there no way to find out why a snorer can't hear himself snore?"

Whether you call it by its slang name, "sawing logs," or its medical name, "stertor," snoring is common. You snore when something blocks the flow of air through your mouth and nose. The sound is caused by tissues at the top of your airway that strike each other and vibrate. Many adults snore, especially men. Snoring may increase with age.

However, snoring can also be a sign of a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea. This means you stop breathing for periods of more than 10 seconds at a time while you sleep.

New research conducted by otolaryngologists at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit finds that snoring is a bigger risk factor for stroke and heart attack than smoking, being overweight, or high cholesterol.

Tips for reducing snoring:

Lifestyle changes to stop snoring:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Cut down or eliminate alcohol and other sedatives at bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine and heavy meals within two hours of going to bed, especially dairy products and soymilk.
  • Avoid sleeping flat on your back. A tennis ball may be sewn to the back of the nighties to help the person turn back to sleeping on the side.
  • Exercise can also help to stop snoring.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Establish regular sleep patterns. Create a bedtime ritual with your partner and stick to it. Hitting the sack in a routine way together can help you sleep better and often minimize snoring.



Bedtime remedies to help you stop snoring:

  • Clear nasal passages. Having a stuffy nose makes inhalation difficult. You can do it naturally with a Neti pot or try nasal decongestants or nasal strips to help you breathe more easily while sleeping.   
  • Keep bedroom air moist with a humidifier. Dry air can irritate membranes in the nose and throat.

  • Reposition. Elevating your head four inches may ease breathing and encourage your tongue and jaw to move forward. There are specially designed pillows available to help prevent snoring by making sure your neck muscles are not crimped.


Throat exercises to stop snoring:


  • Repeat each vowel (a-e-i-o-u) out loud for three minutes a few times a day.
  • Place the tip of your tongue behind your top front teeth. Slide your tongue backwards for 3 minutes a day.
  • Close your mouth and purse your lips. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • With mouth open, move jaw to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on left side.
  • With mouth open, contract the muscle at the back of your throat repeatedly for 30 seconds. Tip: Look in the mirror to see the uvula (“the hanging ball”) move up and down.


Alternative remedies for snoring:


  • Singing can increase muscle control in the throat and soft palate, reducing snoring caused by lax muscles.
Didgeridoo
  • Playing the didgeridoo (native Australian wind instrument) can strengthen the soft palate and throat, reducing snoring.

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). To keep your airway open during sleep, a machine at your bedside blows pressurized air into a mask that you wear over your nose or face.

  • Dental appliances, oral devices, and lower jaw-positioners often resemble an athlete’s mouth guard. They help open your airway by bringing your lower jaw or your tongue forward during sleep.

  • Traditional surgery such as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP), tonsillectomy, and adenoidectomy, increase the size of your airway by surgically removing tissues or correcting abnormalities.

  • The Pillar procedure is also an effective surgery in which small plastic implants are inserted into the soft palate. Scar tissue grows around the implants, stiffening the soft palate, which stops vibrations that cause snoring.


THERE'S ONLY ONE CURE FOR SNORING: INSOMNIA











6 comments:

  1. Throat exercises to stop snoring is something new that i learnt today. Very interesting and informative blog. :-)

    ReplyDelete