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Snoring can be incredibly annoying for the snorer’s partner but it could be a symptom of something far worse. The person who snores is not only getting a lesser grade of sleep but the snoring could well be the sign of a more serious underlying condition.
Snoring, technically put, is the vibration of the respiratory structures causing a sound due to obstructed air movement during breathing while asleep. Most people know what it sounds like, in fact, most people wish they didn’t know what it sounded like, but we have all had to put up with it at some point in our lives. While many people simply snore because they are in a bad body position that blocks the airway, others could be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, which is a more serious condition.
Snoring not only disturbs the sleep of those nearby but it also negatively affects the quality of the snorer’s sleep as well. This is because they are not getting enough oxygen through the night. A regular snorer will often wake feeling more tired and less refreshed than someone who doesn’t snore, so even if the snoring is not caused by obstructive sleep apnea, it is important that measures are taken to remedy this condition.
For most people, snoring can be overcome by changing sleeping positions. Lying on your back can cause a person to snore as it forces the neck tissue into a position that blocks the airway. If the person is overweight then they will have more neck tissue and the snoring will be worse. Other factors like alcohol and smoking also cause and exacerbate snoring. If the snoring is simply caused by sleep position and other dietary factors then the snorer needs to make positive life changes such as dieting and cutting down on drinks and cigarettes.
However, obstructive sleep apnea is more concerning as it denotes an obstruction in the upper airway. Obstructive sleep apnea is characterised by repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep, even as the sleeper is trying to breathe. Many people are unaware they have obstructive sleep apnea and it can take decades to discover. It is quite often connected with obesity. Sleep apnea causes far more sleep disturbance than normal snoring and can have a raft of negative consequences on the sufferer’s well-being, which is why it is important that any long term snorers seek expert help to find out whether they have it.
If you or someone you know is a regular snorer then they should try to remedy this problem as it causes all involved to be deprived of sleep. It could also be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a more serious condition.
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