Q: How can one overcome snoring? Is there any way to stop this habit permanently?
A:Snoring is a common problem and is caused due to blockage of the air passages. It is a sound caused when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This area is the collapsible part of the airway. Snoring occurs when these structures strike each other and vibrate during breathing. Snoring is usually very normal and more common amongst men. It is not an indication of an underlying disorder except in case of serious sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea.
Treatment depends on the underlying cause of snoring. Dental plates are available that help prevent snoring. These bring the lower jaw and the tongue forward thus opening up the air passage behind. Surgery may be rarely suggested, in cases with nasal deformities.
Snoring may not get cured completely but can be prevented by following these guidelines:
- Sleep on the side rather than the back.
- Raise the head of the bed by about four inches by stacking pillows.
- Establish regular sleeping patterns.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle, as people with good muscle tone are less likely to snore.
- Avoid sleeping pills, tranquilisers and antihistamines before bedtime.
- Lose extra weight, if any.
- Avoid alcohol for at least two to three hours before going to sleep.