Articles by Snoring-Aid.com Staff

How Snoring Can Contribute to Hearing Loss in Bedmates

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Snoring and Deafness

Snoring is defined as the sound produced as a result of the vibration of respiratory structures that is caused due to the obstructive airflow while sleeping. In some cases, the snoring sound might be mild, whereas it would be loud and unpleasant in other cases. The latter kind of snoring during sleep can also be the first sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA.

According to the studies, around 40% of people in the United States are suffering from severe snoring issues. Just like OSA, snoring can also be the indicator of many other fatal health issues such as heart diseases, mental disorders, and many other health problems. It can also be the other way round; that is, frequent snoring can also contribute to other diseases.

Note that it is not the snorers who always suffer; people sleeping with them are also prone to many health issues. One of the major health problems commonly seen in people sleeping with snorers is deafness.

The Relation between Snoring and Deafness in Bedmates

According to recent studies, it is determined that almost every people who sleep close to the snorers suffer from a high-frequency hearing loss in the ear that is closest to the snorer. Not only the bed partners, the snorers themselves are also prone to hearing diseases.

As said, frequent snoring also leads to sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that forces the patient to pause breathing for a few seconds while asleep. However, the occurrence and range of these pauses vary in different people; it can last from few seconds to more than a minute, and can occur more than 30 times in an hour. These pauses will result in frequent awakenings and thereby disrupt the sleep of the patient.

Sleep apnea can hold back the vascular supply to the cochlea that results in inflammation in the ear. This, along with loud snoring, leads to hearing loss and other health issues. As for the bedmate, frequent wake ups, disrupted sleep, and annoying snoring sounds, all trigger the sensory nerves in the brain and lead to hearing issues, aside from the tiredness, fatigue, and mood-swings in the daytime.

Counter Measures for Snoring

One of the best options to counter snoring issues is to use a reliable, medically approved snore guard. However, it is recommended to consult a doctor and do a sleep-test prior to this; using the wrong snore guard may worsen the situation. You can also tackle the condition and stop snoring by taking proactive measures such as losing weight, stop consuming liquor, etc.

If you are diagnosed with hearing loss, it is recommended to consult an audiologist and conduct a hearing test. Note that hearing loss can be treated completely if it is diagnosed at an earlier stage.

Why Do Apnea Patients Wear a Chinstrap in Combination with CPAP Mask

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Apnea Patients

Chinstraps are fastened around the lower jaw and the head’s top. If you are under continuous positive airway pressure therapy, the slightly pressurized air being supplied via the nose through a face mask will leak out if the mouth falls open during sleep. This is why apnea patients at times use anti snoring chinstraps to mitigate the side effects of CPAP.

When sleeping, the lower jaw stays in a relaxed position and that can make you to breathe through the mouth. Mouth breathing often causes a sore throat or a dry mouth in apnea patients, especially when they wake up. However, patients can mitigate the side effects of CPAP by wearing an apnea chin strap. Wearing the anti snoring chin strap makes it tough for the mandible to relax while sleeping, which helps to keep the nasal mask securely in place and the mouth closed.

If you use a full face CPAP mask while sleeping, and find that air is leaking due to an open mouth, it is best to use a nasal mask instead and seal it with a chinstrap. Obviously, mouth breathing tend to cause snoring, so wearing a chinstrap in combination with a nasal mask is advisable to mitigate the symptoms of sleep apnea.

You might require a chinstrap if you snore even during the CPAP therapy, as that indicates you are breathing through the mouth despite wearing a nasal mask. So, even if you use that type of CPAP mask, using a chin strap for snoring in combination with that will give comfort to your sleep.

Even if you are not snoring, it will not be very comfortable to wake up with a sore throat or dry mouth. Such side effects are consequences of sleeping with an open mouth, which can be mitigated by using an apnea chin strap. Most of such chinstraps are made in a way they are compatible with a specific type of CPAP mask, so there is no doubt that you get a tight seal, especially if you wear it with nasal mask type. Further, most chinstraps are also made of soft fabric, which will not brush against the face rather uncomfortably, and stretchable material that contours to the shape of the face and ensures you of a tight fit.

Lesser-Known Facts about Sleep Apnea

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Facts About Sleep Apnea

If you are unable to get a good night’s sleep, then you will probably wake up feeling a bit tired and irritated. In addition to some people may also find it very difficult to concentrate on their academics or work if they are not able to enjoy a peaceful sleep. However, several people often fail to realize the fact that sleep apnea or other sleep-related disorders might be the reason why they are finding it hard to sleep.

It might come as a surprise to many when they hear the fact that the sleeping disorder, sleep apnea is one of the major culprits behind the sleep issues of several people. In fact, a recent study conducted by experts in the field of medical science revealed that one out of five adults in the country suffers from breathing disorders due to sleep apnea.

If you are waking up in the middle of your sleep due to breathing issues or if your sleep is being disrupted at regular intervals, then you should consider seeking medical assistance as fast as possible. If you are a snorer, then the health care provider will ask you to use anti snoring devices, which might help you to stop snoring.

Sleep apnea is actually a problematic and distressing chronic health problem, which can bring serious health issues if left untreated. This common sleep disorder was actually named after a Greek word that meant “want of breath” in English.

Recent studies conducted by experts revealed that sleep apnea is very common in people who are in the age range of 50 to 60 years. In addition to that, the studies pointed out that two percent of children and six percents of adults are also experiencing sleep apnea related problems. It is significant to note that sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders are more common in men when compared to women.

If you are obese, then you are at a higher risk of falling prey to this sleep disorder. Likewise, people with larger neck size, sinus problems, and allergies may also develop sleep apnea at some point in your life. The intake of alcohol, smoking, and taking sedatives will also relax your muscles and obstruct your airway, which in turn lead to sleep apnea. The good news is that avoiding alcohol consumption and quitting smoking might help you to stay away from sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

Why Do Apnea Patients with CPAP Intolerance Choose Oral Appliances?

Chin Strap for Snoring

CPAP Therapy And Sleep Apnea

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is commonly used as a treatment option for people diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The therapy involves using a CPAP machine, which pumps slightly pressurized air into the nasal airways via an elongated hose hooked to a face mask worn, while the person is asleep. This contraption is used to hold open the OSA patient’s upper airway, and prevent breathing difficulties which may last from a few seconds to a full hour.

While CPAP is a tried-and-tested method for treating sleep apnea, many people face hardships in sticking with the therapy. Most medical professionals term the difficulty to comply with it as CPAP intolerance. Often, the noise coming from the bulky CPAP machine, causing disturbance to apnea patients and bedmates, is found to be the main reason for intolerance, which leads to the failure of CPAP therapy. However, there are several other reasons for CPAP intolerance, including:

  • Air leaks in the face mask, which cause a dry mouth in the morning;
  • The person being allergic to the material of the oxygen mask used in CPAP, which often tends to be made up of latex;
  • Uncomfortable headgear and straps; and
  • Limited mobility during sleep, due to the contraption or the CPAP machine, and other connections.

If you feel that you cannot comply with the CPAP, it is advisable to look for alternative treatments for mild to moderate apnea, such as oral appliance therapy. In fact, oral appliance therapy may also serve as a remedy for loud snoring, even if you find it tough to get used to positional therapy. For instance, if you find it tough to change from a supine or prone position to a side-sleeping one on the bed – it’s best to wear an oral appliance used to treat mild to moderate OSA.

Side sleeping is suggested in positional therapy for treating apnea; most people do find comfort in opening the upper airway using a snoring remedy, but not all feel the same way. In fact, an oral appliance such as a sleep apnea mouth guard is considered as a noninvasive treatment for OSA. Such snoring mouthpieces do not cause any side effects, and work as per the same principle – of clearing the obstructions in the upper throat. Once worn, it advances the lower jaw and ensures free flow of air.

7 Easy Remedies to Stop Snoring

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Easy Snoring Remedies

Snoring is caused due to the obstruction in the air movement while breathing during sleep. Snoring is a serious issue, not only because it disturbs others’ sleep, but also because the people who snore may suffer from other serious health conditions such as sleep apnea and heart diseases. Apart from using snore guard and other snoring aids to deal with the problem, given below are some home remedies that may help you to stop snoring.

Lose Weight

Weight loss can help obese people to stop snoring to some extent. Besides, if you have gained weight in the recent past, and that is when you started snoring, then weight loss may be effective. When you gain weight around the neck, it will squeeze the inner diameter of the throat, which may trigger snoring.

Change your Sleep Position

Avoid sleeping on your back; sleeping on your side is known to be effective in preventing snoring. Using a full-length pillow will be an easy option, as it enables you to maintain sleeping on your side. Yet another alternative is to recline your bed with the head up.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Having poor sleeping habits can also trigger snoring. If you work for too long hours without having enough sleep, you become overtired, which makes you sleep deep and hard. This is when the muscles in the throat and back of the mouth become floppier and lead to snoring issues.

Avoid Alcohol

Usage of alcohol and other sedatives may reduce the resting tone of the muscles present on the back of your throat and you are more likely to snore. It is said that people who do not snore normally, start snoring after consuming alcohol.

Change your Pillows

Allergic reactions may occur due to the presence of dust mites accumulated in your pillows and this leads to snoring. If you allow your pets to sleep on your bed, it causes you to breathe in animal dander, which is another common irritant that leads to breathing issues.

Stay Hydrated

If you are dehydrated, the secretions in your nose become stickier and this creates more snoring. Women should have around 11 cups of water per day, while men need to drink about 16 cups. Apparently, drinking plenty of fluids is very necessary not only to fight snoring but also to stay healthy.

Keep the Nasal Passages Open

When you have a cold, your nose will be clogged and narrowed. The narrower the path is, the faster the air you breathe moves in, and most likely cause snoring. Taking a hot shower before going to bed or rinsing your nose with salt water would help you to keep the nasal passage clear. Using nasal strips is another alternative.

Complications Related to Sleep Apnea

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Sleep Apnea Related Complications

Sleep apnea is a serious health disorder where breathing repeatedly stops for a while when the person is asleep. The main symptoms of this disorder are loud snoring, abrupt awakening, morning headache, insomnia, hypersomnia, irritability, and sore throat. There are three main types of sleep apnea: Central Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and Complex Sleep Apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax; Central Sleep Apnea occurs when the brain does not send information to the muscles, which control breathing; while Complex Sleep Apnea happens when someone has both the apnea mentioned above. Given below are the complications you may experience if you have sleep apnea.

Fatigue

People having sleep apnea may experience daytime fatigue, irritability, and drowsiness because of repeatedly awakening from sleep. One may find difficult to concentrate or may fall asleep while working, watching TV, or even while driving.

Surgery Complications

After major surgery, people with sleep apnea may be more prone to breathing problems when they are sedated and lying on their backs. So it is advised to notify the doctor about the problem before surgery.

Metabolic Syndrome

Sleep apnea patients may experience some metabolic syndromes like high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol, high blood pressure, and an increased waist circumference.

Liver Problems

For those who have sleep apnea, it is likely that they may have abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers might show signs of scarring as well. This condition is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop in people who have sleep apnea when compared to those who do not have the sleep disorder.

Heart Problems

Due to a sudden drop in blood oxygen level during sleep apnea, blood pressure increases and causes strain in the cardiovascular system. This means that the risk of stroke is high for those having Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Behavioral Disorder

Sleep apnea may result in a decrease in concentration, vigilance, attention, visuospatial and verbal memory, and even lead to dementia in older people. Children diagnosed with sleep issues may also experience learning disabilities.

Stroke

Stroke in patients having sleep apnea is said to occur mostly between 06:00 am and 08:00 am, as it is the time when a person wakes up normally. A deprived sleep may be the reason for that.

Obesity

Obesity leads to narrowing and sporadic obstruction of the airways, which in turn, worsens snoring and sleep apnea. Excessive weight gain also leads to overstretching of the diaphragm or less contractility of chest wall muscles, which all further complicate the health issue.

How the Biology of Women Contribute to Sleep Disorders

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Sleep Disorders In Women

A good night’s sleep is necessary for both men and women in order to feel comfortable and energetic throughout the following day. According to studies in the field, the quality of sleep is more likely to be poor in women when compared to men. This is because of their hormonal structure, genes, and some other biological factors. Hence, it is quite common if a woman complained about her sleep quality or morning tiredness more often when compared to men.

Two of the main reasons for this difference in the sleep quality for women are the unique physical changes during their menstrual cycle and pregnancy. During the menstrual period, women experience various hormonal changes in their body throughout the month. These changes can contribute to the poor sleep cycle in women, which may eventually lead to health issues such as snoring and sleep apnea.

Sleep Disorders and Menstrual Cycle

The changes that happen in the body of a woman during the menstrual cycle can have a huge impact on her sleep quality as well as the quantity. According to the reports of the National Sleep Foundation, half of the women who encounter sleep disorders are going through their menstruation period. Usually, the sleep of women is disrupted mainly during the first three days of the menstrual cycle. As a result, most women snore more during these initial days of their periods.

Impact of Hormones on the Sleep Cycle

Around the menstrual cycle, the hormone levels in the body of women may rise or fall, which in turn, can affect their sleep cycle. The hormone called estrogen is associated with the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage or deep sleep phase, so a fluctuation in the estrogen levels can disrupt proper sleep. On the other hand, the hormone called progesterone that is linked to ovulation may cause excessive sleepiness and fatigue. There are also many other hormones that cause mood swings in women during their menstrual periods that eventually affect the sleep quality.

Hormones and Sleep Disordered Breathing in Women

The fluctuating hormone level in the body of the women is linked with SDB (Sleep Disordered Breathing) that cause snoring and sleep apnea. The tone and strength of the muscle tissue are also related to the hormone levels. During hormonal fluctuations, the muscle tone will become weak and the upper airway will become collapsible, which may gradually lead to snoring and sleep apnea issues. Furthermore, variation in hormonal levels can also contribute to the weight gain, which is another potential cause for snoring.

How Allergies Cause Snoring and How to Avoid it

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Allergies And Snoring

Allergies usually occur when people who are prone to it breathe airborne allergens, which aggravate and swell nasal airway passages. It does not happen in all kinds of people, but in those having an immune system that is not strong enough to resist airborne particles such as dust, pet dander, or food contaminants.

If allergies kick in, the immune system sees it as hazardous for the body and sends signals to the lung cells, nose cells, and mouth cells for releasing histamines. The said chemical compound boosts blood circulation in areas that are affected by allergens, thus leading to swelling. So, if you get affected by any of the allergens, histamines would cause the thin walls in the nose to create more mucus than before its releasing.

Of course, there is some amount of mucus in the nose, but excessive mucus would cause a stuffy nose and may affect the normal airflow. The substance that is secreted by mucous membranes may irritate a person’s upper throat airway causing swelling and partial or full obstruction in breathing through the airways.

Allergies that Cause Snoring

Snoring occurs due to lack of free flowing air via the nose as well as throat while sleeping. When breathing during sleep, air rushes past through upper throat tissues, which would vibrate with the surface of the mouth, in turn, producing the snoring sound.

Other than the aforementioned snoring causes, there are more allergies that may cause the health condition including allergies that occur during fall or springtime, allergies from certain food items, medicines, etc. Symptoms that are linked to snoring due to allergies include swelling of the tongue or throat, excess forming of mucus, swelling of mentioned airways, wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, etc. When mucus accumulates excessively in the upper airways, it may lead to a condition named post-nasal drip as well.

To clear allergens, you should keep the surroundings of the bedroom clean. For that, turn on the humidifier 15 to 30 minutes prior to bedtime and keep the humidity at the time between forty to fifty percent. This right use of humidifier would provide an adequate amount of moisture in the surrounding air. This moisture can help to clear airway obstructions and alleviate snoring. Note that it is also important to keep the humidifier in a fresh condition for that. Alternatively, you can also use a nasal spray to clear the mucus formed.

How to Use Yoga to Stop Snoring

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Yoga To Stop Snoring

Yoga is a healthy practice well known for its ability to heal people of their stress and anxiety. However, did you know that it could also help stop snoring and sleep apnea in their respective tracks? Throwing in some snore stop yoga exercises to augment your daily routine can prove the difference between peaceful and snore-ridden slumber.

Kapalbhati

“Kapal” means skull and “bhati” means shining, and so this technique is also called the “shining skull” technique. It assists in clearing the cranial sinus, the lungs, and the organs present inside the skull. It makes use of forceful breathing to improve how the cranial sinus and systems function.

  • Get seated in a comfortable position with your spine erect. Place the hands on the knees, and the palms facing up.
  • Take a deep breath in.
  • When you start to exhale; try to pull the navel back toward the spine, as far as you can. Place the right hand on your abdomen to feel the muscles contract. Exhale as forcefully as you can.
  • Start relaxing the navel, so that breath flows automatically into your lungs.
  • Do 20 reps of the above steps to finish one round.
  • After each round, sit still with your eyes closed and pay attention to the way you are feeling.
  • Do 2 more rounds.

Bhastrika

Also called “bellow’s breath”, Bhastrika is intended to make your inhalations equal your exhalations in length. With the increased control this gives you over your breathing, you will be able to take longer breaths and relax more easily.

  • First, you need to sit still and relax the shoulders. From this position, take in a few breaths through the nose and exhale. When you inhale, make sure to expand the stomach as much as possible.
  • Exhale with force through the nose for a single second. After this, inhale with the same force for a single second.
  • Keep breathing in and out this way, counting seconds. Your posture should be kept erect, with shoulders relaxed and body still. Only your belly must rise and fall with each breath going in and out.
  • Do this 10 times to complete a cycle; when you are done with the first round, stop for a few seconds to see how you feel. Start the next cycle of 20 reps, pause again, and see how you feel. Then, do your next set of 30 reps; again, sit still and see how you feel.

What are the Major Sleep Disorders in Infants?

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Sleep Disorders In Infants

The fact that babies will not be able to express their troubles verbally may make it really hard for parents to soothe them, especially for the first-time parents. One of the main things that is seen to trouble new parents a lot is their baby’s sleeping problems.

Although not all sleeping problems are related to medical conditions, there are some “organic causes”, which lead to the same. If so, adequate treatment is crucial, else it can be harmful to your baby as it can eventually lead to other serious infections or health issues. Some of the medical conditions that can disturb the sleep of newborns and toddlers include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Ear infections
  • Fever
  • Snoring or breathing irregularities
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Parasitic infections
  • Milk allergy

As most parents might not be familiar with the symptoms of acid reflux and snoring, below is how these health concerns can cause sleeping problems in infants.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is common in infants and plays a major role in interrupting their sleep cycle. According to a recent study, babies with acid reflux issues are likely to experience frequent arousals. In most cases, GERD will be painful and may cause colic and vomiting in the little one. Additionally, acid reflux is also a risk factor for pulmonary diseases.

GERD can be fatal at times too, and can be classified as a serious disease when it causes the following symptoms in babies.

  • Blood in the vomit or stool
  • Anemia
  • Resistance to feeding
  • Irritability
  • Failure to thrive

If you find any of these symptoms in your baby, avoid acidic food, and also make sure that the baby is in an upright position for at least 20 minutes after feeding. If the symptoms are extreme, it is recommended to consult a pediatrician.

Snoring

According to a recent study, around 15-25% of infants suffer from snoring. This is usually harmless, but in certain cases, it can lead to severe health issues. At times, habitual snoring in babies can be an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea. This will result in frequent arousals, irregular breathing, and restlessness during sleep. In some cases, babies with sleep apnea fail to wake up while facing breathing problems. This can be very dangerous, as it may also eventually lead to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Apart from sleep apnea, snoring in babies, who are around 8 months old, may also affect their proper mental development. So, if you find your baby snoring frequently for more than a week or so, better consult a pediatrician right away.