25 September 2008
Snoring: Should it be treated?
Snoring is noisy breathing. It is a manifestation of narrowing of the upper airway causing obstruction to airflow during breathing while asleep. Snoring is NOT normal as normal breathing, whether asleep or awake, makes no noise.
Yet snoring is taken for granted to be “normal”. Indeed when one is excessively tired, one snores. There are a host of other reasons for the occurrence of snoring in people who normally do not. Sedatives, cough mixtures, alcohol consumption, upper respiratory tract infection could all induce snoring. These act on the tone of the muscles of the oropharynx and neck. Hypotonia encourages collapse of the pharyngeal wall and hence increases obstruction.
There is a range from those who very rarely snores (I don’t believe there is anyone who NEVER snores in their lifetime) to those who snores all the time. There is also a range from those who snore all night to those who snore part of the night. And there is yet another range of those who snore ever so lightly to those whose heroic snoring keeps the neighbors awake.
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