Who me? If you are anything like me, then you won’t believe it when your mate accuses you of keeping her awake all night long with your raucous snoring. Usually, when this happens, it is true. You are snoring and your snoring is disruptive. It is more than a purr from a contented kitten.
What is the big deal you ask? I went scampering about and here is what I learned.
Snoring is more than just a nuisance. It is the sound made by the vibrations of your vocal chords as the air you breath rushes past your narrowed airway. Think of what happens to the water coming out of garden hose when you pinch it. This is similar to what is occurring in your throat as your air passages narrow.
Snoring indicates you airway is narrowing when you are lying down and you may not be getting all the oxygen you need.
Several things contribute to snoring:
You get older and the tissues in your throat relax and start to block your airway
You gain weight. This causes a narrowing of your air passages.
Alcohol and some medications can cause relaxation of your throat, contributing to a narrowing of your airway.
If you smoke cigarettes you irritate the inner lining of your nasal passages This interferes with normal breathing.
You may have sinus irritation or a blocked septum in your nose. Get this check out by your doctor. These issues can be improved.
Sleeping on your back can contribute to snoring because it makes it easier for the tissues in your throat to fall backward and restrict the size of your airway.
Snoring is an early warning signal. It does not get better by itself and it will actually get worse, over time, if you don’t do anything about it. The graph below shows how snoring may progress to Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Now listen to what it sounds like. The most scary part is when there are no sounds at all – this means you are not breathing and sometimes this will last for 43 seconds. Try holding your breathe that long and you will understand how serious this really is.
So if your cat mate says, “Your snoring is driving me crazy” call the professionals who can help.
Sleep Apnea vs. Snoring
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Dr. Eli provides emergency after hours consultations. Call us at (760) 436-6365