By Jennifer Williams
Anyone can snore, in fact studies have shown that 45 percent of men and 30 percent of women snore on a daily basis. While a person is sleeping the tissues of the nose and throat vibrates, the vibration is caused by an obstruction of the air flow during breathing. Some people snore softly, while others can snore very loudly.
When a person is breathing in and out a steady stream of air flows from the mouth or nose to the persons lungs. When they are asleep they can experience a narrowing of the back of the throat. The air that passes through is the same amount, since the opening is smaller, the tissues that surround the opening will vibrate. This in turn will let out a sound we call snoring. There can be various reasons why people experience this narrowing. People can experience this narrowing in the mouth, throat or nose. Some experts say that snoring can be attributed to sleep apnea. Alcohol as well as some prescription medications can make a person snore; this is because the alcohol and some prescription medications can make the muscles relax while the person sleeps.
Some experts feel that snoring may be a sign of a serious underlying problem. Not all people that snore have a medical issue. People who snore can be tested to see if they have any medical condition that is causing the snoring, such as sleep apnea or other sleeping problems. A sleep study as well as a physical exam is usually performed to evaluate the person who snores. The doctor will also ask the patient about their history. Snoring may not always be a medical issue, but it can lead to social issues if the person has a partner or lives with family. Snoring can disrupt the sleep of the person’s partner or family members. Usually this is the way people learn that they snore, through their partner, family or friends.
There are various forms of non-surgical treatment such as a nasal CPAP machine, behavioral changes, medications, nasal and dental devices, over the counter products and even some pillows . If the person is asked to make behavioral changes, they may need to lose weight, avoid smoking and alcohol, change their sleeping positions and or change their medications. A doctor will sit down with the patient to discuss their findings and course of action. Some doctors may be against certain treatments, such as the use of over the counter products. Just like every person is different, so is every doctor, what one doctors believes may not hold true for another. Patients should feel comfortable with their health care providers, and if a patient is not sure about the course of treatment or the diagnoses, they should discuss their concerns with their doctor and they may need to seek a second an opinion.