Snoring is not a habit; it is a condition over which the affected people have no control. Funnily, they don’t even know when they snore, let alone knowing why they do it. It is only those around them that can tell them about it. If you have been affected by snoring, either your own or someone you know, you are probably aware of how annoying it can be. What you may not be aware of is that it can also be harmful to health.
Snoring and Its Impact
When snoring results from an exhausting day or a minor health issue like a cold, it is not something to worry about. It will pass. But if it is a regular aspect of your life, you should be worried. Snoring can affect the duration and quality of your sleep. Less sleep means being tired when awake, lesser productivity, more frustration and irritability. These are certainly not indicators of good health and in turn can lead to hypertension, disorders of the cardiovascular systems, sleeplessness and intermittent headaches.
How Does Snoring Happen?
Snoring is the sound created by the vibration of the relaxed tissues caused by the air passing through the nasal cavity when you sleep. As you sleep, these tissues of the relaxed and hence narrowed passage vibrate with the air movement and the sound this creates is given the name snoring.
Why Does Snoring Happen?
Snoring does not benefit anyone but can be harmful to all those have to bear it, directly or indirectly and they all wish it could stop. The causes of the problem can be varied. It could be a physiological thing like the structure of the nose or enlarged tonsils, but it could also be related to lifestyle such as obesity, alcohol consumption, allergic reactions and sleeping patterns.
Solutions to Help Manage Snoring
Certain changes to the lifestyle can be helpful in reducing the incidence of snoring. Some things you can try are losing weight, sleeping in a different position and cutting down on alcohol consumption, especially just before sleeping. Sleeping on the back leads to a greater amount of snoring and sleeping on your side can help you get relief. Support your sides with pillows for a more comfortable sleep.
Solutions for Physiological Causes
Snoring caused due to a constantly stuffy nose and a narrow nasal passage may need to be assisted by tools to alleviate the discomfort. Some such solutions that can aid you are nasal strips, nasal sprays and nasal drops. These help in widening the passage or clearing the blockage for easier breathing. A detailed explanation of what these are and how they work to help with snoring is given below:
- Nasal Strips
Nasal strips look somewhat like band-aids and also have an adhesive bottom just like band-aids. This adhesive bottom is applied to the bridge of the nose. When using nasal strips, you do not need to apply anything internally, the use is completely external.
The strips help in freeing up the space in the airway to facilitate smoother airflow and better breathing. This prevents the tissues from vibrating and the snoring reduces and may even stop. These widen the nasal passage by lifting the sides of the nose. These are one of the most comfortable solutions for snoring as they work externally.
To use the strips effectively, they should be used after washing and drying your face. The adhesive may not work with oily skin. Take off the cover from the adhesive strip just before placing it on the bridge. Take care not to cover the nostrils. Gently rubbing the nose after placing the strip will help it to remain in place all night and let you sleep peacefully.
- Nasal Sprays
This must be used when you are suffering from constant nasal congestion due to a build-up of mucus in the nasal cavity. The snoring sprays, which are essentially a liquid, help to soften the mucus and makes it easy for you to breathe through your nose and not your mouth. Breathing through your mouth can lead to snoring and dryness of throat.
The congestion in your nose could result from allergies, a sinus problem or simple flu. The spray simply removes the congestion and allows you to breathe properly. To work effectively, they should be used correctly and it is advisable to consult a doctor before choosing this mode for preventing snoring.
To use the spray, close one nostril and insert the tip of the spray in the other and spray. Wait for a minimum of 10 seconds and spray again. If you need to spray in both nostrils, repeat the action for the other nostril as well. Do consult your doctor before initiating the use of the nasal spray for your snoring problem.
- Nasal Drops
These are similar to the nasal sprays in their function and work on the mucus to soften it. This allows the air passage to be cleared for breathing. The drops are also applied inside the nostril, but the application is a little different. When adding the drops to the nostril, you must blow the nose to remove any mucus you can. Wash your hands and put the drops in the nostril. Hold for 10 seconds before applying them to the other nostril. Do consult the doctor before using nasal drops.
The key difference in the application of the two liquid forms is that the spray can be applied while standing, but the drops must be added while lying down so that they don’t drip out.
Apart from the various reasons and solutions described above, snoring could also result from irritated nasal and throat membranes. These could be a result of lack of moisture in the room. Using a humidifier to maintain the moisture levels could also prove helpful.
It is better to discover the cause of snoring before deciding on the appropriate remedy as every solution can only work on certain symptoms that it is designed to relieve. Choose your solution wisely and enjoy a good and sound sleep.