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SNORING (stertor)

Posted Mar 21 2009 12:00am

Breathing through the nose is the body’s ideal method of receiving air because the nose acts as a humidifier, heater and filter for the breathed air, but when the nose becomes blocked, the body is forced to obtain its air through the mouth, which does not filter, humidify, or heat the received air. This problem causes snoring.

Snoring is called medically as “stertor” and its slang name is “sawing logs”. Snoring is also one symptom of a serious sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. When a person has Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that interrupts your breathing when you are asleep. Its usually caused by an obstruction blocking the back of the throat so that the air cannot reach your lungs. The cessation of breathing automatically forces you to wake up in order to start breathing again.  People with colds or allergies frequently have trouble with snoring. Congestion in the nose makes it more difficult to breathe and can result in loud snorts and sniffs. Many with chronic allergies are chronic snorers because they deal with long-term congestion.

Snoring is followed by periods of quietness that could last 10 seconds, maybe more. The lack of oxygen signals the brain to wake up, forcing the airway to open with a loud snort or gasp. This repeats itself over and over again in an adult who is affected by this. If this condition is left untreated, high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke could be the result.

What Causes Snoring?
There are many reasons why people snore. Here are some of the most common:

  • Seasonal allergies can make some people’s noses stuffy and cause them to snore.
  • Sex men snore more frequently than women because the air passage in their throats is narrower than women’s air passages.
  • Blocked nasal passages or airways (due to a cold or sinus infection) can cause a rattling snore.
  • Pregnancy may make some women snore especially during the last few months. This may be due in part to weight gain, and also to increased nasal congestion. Pregnant women are also advised not to sleep on their backs during the last couple of months of pregnancy, since this position may not be a good one for the unborn child.
  • * A deviated septum (say: dee-vee-ate-ed sep-tum), which is the tissue and cartilage that separates the two nostrils in your nose, may be crooked. Some people with a very deviated septum have surgery to straighten it out. This also helps them breathe better – not just stop snoring.
  • Enlarged or swollen tonsils or adenoids may cause a person to snore. Tonsils and adenoids (adenoids are glands located inside of your head, near the inner parts of your nasal passages) help trap harmful bacteria, but they can become very big and swollen all of the time. Many kids who snore have this problem.
  • Being in the menopause is linked with snoring

Here are tips to reduce or prevent snoring:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight, Fat and skin tissue in the neck puts pressure on the airway, making nighttime breathing more challenging. Being overweight is a common cause of snoring. Loose throat tissues are more likely to vibrate as you breathe.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol and sedatives at bedtime, Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at least four hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid sleeping flat on your back, Sleep on your side. Lying on your back allows your tongue to fall backward into your throat, narrowing your airway and partially obstructing airflow.
  • Treat nasal congestion or obstruction.
  • Avoid smoking. Smoking causes swelling, inflammation and irritation to your nostrils and throat, making snoring more likely.
  • Avoid big meals just before bed time.

In conclusion, Snoring could be a sign of a serious health problem and experts have warned that if it is left untreated, high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke could be the result.

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