|Having to listen to the sound of someone snoring when you are trying to fall asleep can definitely drive you over the edge. Strangely enough, the snorer is usually unaware that he or she is snoring and it is the bed partner who has to contend with the snoring. Snoring is the sound that occurs when air flow is obstructed in the area where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula.
These structures cause the tissues to vibrate as you breathe which produces the snoring sounds. Depending on the anatomy of the mouth, the snoring sound may range from soft, feeble sounds to hoarse, harsh sounds. While snoring is not only noisy and annoying to others, disturbing healthy sleep patterns and causing sleep deprivation, it is often a symptom of other serious medical conditions.
If snoring increases and is also left untreated, it can result in obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea, in turn, enhances the risk of health complications such as fatigue, lack of concentration, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, loss of libido, systemic and pulmonary hypertension. Children with obstructive apnea run the risk of developing attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Living with a snorer is not easy. Snoring poses a major threat to domestic harmony by disrupting sleeping patterns which causes a lack of sleep for the bed mate. It results in poor performance at work, embarrassment, an unfulfilling sex life, separate bedrooms and even divorce.
Snoring is very common and it is estimated that 45% of all adults snore occasionally, and 25% snore habitually. It is especially common in males, but increases with age (over the age of 65 years) in both sexes. People who are overweight tend to snore more.