<%-- Page Title--%> Health <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 124 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

September 26 , 2003

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Why Men Snore

Well, ok women do snore but men snore more than women, in fact four out of every ten men snore compared to roughly 3 out 10 women. At any one time around 25 per cent of people are habitual 'snorers' The reasons for this are mainly related to differences in lifestyle although there may be clear physical reasons why snoring occurs. Snoring is noisy breathing that occurs as a result of partial obstruction of the air passages. It is usually due to the soft tissues of the palate, uvula, tongue and tonsils relaxing during sleep.

Snoring is a problem because it affects everyone in earshot, including the person who is snoring. Many a happy relationship has reached or gone beyond breaking point as a direct result of broken sleep patterns. For the snorer it can result in tiredness and irritability during the day which can increase the chances of accidents. Long-term it can cause circulatory problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems and strokes.

Some Facts about Snoring
*it is made worse by alcohol or sleeping tablets.
*overweight people are more prone to snoring.
*sleeping on your back increases the chances of snoring.
*colds, nasal polyps, allergies makes snoring worse.
*older people often snore due to muscular weakness with age.
*some medications may cause dryness or minor irritation of the nasal passageways.
*a larger than usual uvula can limit airflow.
*injuries to the nose that result in a deviation of the septum may result in snoring.
*smokers are twice as likely to snore.

Sleep Apnea
Sometimes people who snore also suffer from sleep apnea. Apnea refers to periods of interrupted breathing which can last 10 seconds or longer. Essentially the same process as snoring occurs except that muscles relax so much they cause a complete rather than partial obstruction. When sleep apnea occurs a build up of carbon dioxide occurs in the blood stream. The brain detects the lack of oxygen and reacts by waking the person up in order that normal breathing can resume. Sleep apnea can occur several times a night and the effects of broken sleep are the same as with snoring. However, the chances of heart failure increase with sleep apnea as the heart has to work so much harder.

Self Help Ideas
*if you're overweight - loose it.
*avoid rich foods like chocolates before bedtime and eat healthy foods generally.
*stop smoking.
*try raising your head by putting pillows under it.
*sleep on your side. Some people sew a tennis ball on the back of their night clothes to help them.
* blow your nose before going to bed.
* if you are the partner of the snorer you may seriously need to consider options like changing bedrooms or going to bed earlier in order to get some sleep. Clearly these fall into the last resort category and unless your partner does something about their problem this could be the start of a slippery slope so far as the relationship is concerned.

If These Don't Work
If none of the self-help ideas work then you need medical advice. Advice may involve surgical intervention (e.g. removal of adenoids or tonsils) but in the first resort a mouthpiece could be recommended in order to keep the airways open. Other treatment options such as nasal sprays or nasal plasters may also be considered.

Source: YahooHealth


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