Snoring is the sound produced by vibration of the uvula and soft palate when you sleep. The snoring sound is produced by an obstruction of airflow at the level of the nose, oral cavity or larynx. If snoring is noisy it is possible to be related to a more serious medical problem. A very serious problem associated with snoring is obstructive apnea while sleeping and which, in extreme cases, can endanger life when breathing stops during sleep.
Snoring if untreated can cause the following:
Snoring can be a factor which contributes to high blood pressure, to cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, to memory problems, sexual dysfunctions and headaches and even stroke. Patients who can\’t rest because of snoring have sometimes problems at work and they can cause accidents while driving.
Sleeping Pills, Alcohol, Smokingâ€¦and Snoring
When you take sleeping pills, your body relaxes to a point that you feel exhausted and your throat muscles become relaxed at the same time and this can make snoring and sleep apnea worse. Not only sleeping pills, but any sedatives like cetrizine can relax tissues in the throat most probably intensify snoring.
Avoid drinking alcohol before sleeping. If you drink alcohol before going to sleep, snoring and sleep apnea will intensify. Alcohol relaxes all the muscles which vibrate in the pharynx.
Alcohol slows the brain’s responses, causing the muscles to relax even more than during a normal night’s sleep. Alcohol also acts as a cerebral depressant. The added relaxation of the musculature causes the oropharynx to collapse more readily causing further snoring. Alcohol also causes nasal airway irritation and congestion that increases the airway resistance when breathing. The consumption of alcohol affects every organ and system in the body. It can damage heart tissue and elevate blood pressure. It also has high calorie content, and people who are heavy drinkers are often overweight and diabetis.
Give up smoking. Smoking provokes the inflammation of pharynx tissues, more obstruction, amplifying their chances to vibrate and to provoke snoring.
(Patients with obstructive sleep apnea are at times treated as insomnia and given sleeping pills which makes the sleep apnea worse and dangerous.Here such a patient is being treated by surgery in Jubilee Hospital Trivandrum Kerala South India.)