What you can do about snoring

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Snoring - all the facts you need to know
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by Marianne Sagnier

Snoring may seem like a minor problem to some people but you can be sure that those people have never shared a bed with a persistent snorer. It can really have an adverse on a relationship. But just how common is the problem and what can be done about it? Read on to find out...

What exactly is snoring?

The term snoring refers to the noise created by the soft palate and other tissues of the nose, throat and mouth due to a partial blockage of the airway. In the UK alone there are approximately 15 million people who snore on a regular basis. That is over one in four of the entire population.

What causes snoring?

The partial blockage of the airway can be caused by a myriad of reasons. The most common are:

- excessive drinking because the alcohol causes the throat muscles to relax more than normal
- being overweight because the excess fat makes it harder for your airway to remain fully open
- smoking and other irritants which can have a negative effect your nose and throat
- allergies such asthma and sensitivity to dust mites and pets.

How can snoring be treated?

The appropriate treatment depends on the individual. For example, if you are a heavy smoker you should try to stop or at least cut back. Or if you're overweight you should try to loose some of the excess fat that can cause breathing problems.

However, such lifestyle changes are sometimes difficult to implement. Fortunately, there are other ways to help with a snoring problem. In general, people will snore less if they sleep on their side as opposed to their backs. This prevents the airway from becoming restricted.

There are also many products such as nasal sprays available in most chemists and supermarkets. Sometimes these treatments work and sometimes they don't. You simply have to try them out and hope that you are one of the lucky ones. In more serious snoring cases, surgery is sometimes recommended. Although the techniques used are very minor, this should only seen as last resort and you should consult your doctor before making any decisions.

The Final Thought

Snoring is more of an issue for women because men are twice as likely to snore. While they lie there sound asleep, you lie next to them wide awake. However, it is a problem that can be overcome in the vast majority of cases. It shouldn't cause any damage to your relationship just as long as you communicate with one another. The worst possible thing you can do is suffer in silence and allow resentment to fester. And fester it will.

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