Snoring is a common condition that can affect anyone, although it occurs more frequently in men and in people who are overweight. Snoring also has a tendency to worsen with age. Okay, so women do snore and the older you get, the more people snore.

It can be caused by sinus problems, a misshapen nose, thick neck, swelling at the back of the throat, problems with the uvula, previous operation and alcohol. What doesn’t alcohol get involved with?

Occasional snoring is usually not very serious and is mostly a nuisance for your bed partner. However, if you are a habitual snorer, you not only disrupt the sleep patterns of those close to you, but you also impair your own sleep quality. Most people snore when lying on their back, which is when the tongue falls back and obstruct the airways…through which we breathe.

The bad effects of snoring
Snoring is bad for you since it leads to poor quality of sleep and so many people are tired in the morning and fall asleep during the day. It leads to other illnesses from sleep deprivation.

There are economic and societal impacts like decreased work productivity, work place accidents, vehicular accidents due to excessive daytime sleepiness, marital disharmony, loss of income and social embarrassment (imagine snoring at a movie theatre or an important meeting at work!

The two most common adverse health effects that are believed to be casually linked to snoring are daytime dysfunction and heart disease. About one-half of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea.

So, snoring can lead to sleep apnoea which is a condition in which the person stops breathing for a few seconds during sleep. If your spouse says your breathing stops in your sleep and you get daytime sleepiness (both signs of sleep apnoea), then perhaps you do suffer from sleep apnoea. This can lead to hypertension, strokes, poor memory and death.

Okay, death could also come from being strangled by your partner to stop the noise! Perhaps it’s too tragic but truly snoring can cause exasperation in the partner as they reach the end of their tether. It can affect relationships as some partners push for separate beds and separate rooms. The money you pay for putting the snorer in a separate room is a lot in the long run. Haha.

Joke
According to my wife, I snore and one of these days, I might stop breathing from her hands around my throat! There are other ideas on the internet on how to stop your partner snoring. One of them involves a pillow! But, I am not advocating that course oh!

The good effects of snoring
There are no recorded good effects. Not yet anyway! Except of course, it doesn’t disturb the snorer, as they cannot hear the noise.

Management
Self-help is important. Be aware that you snore and that it impacts the people around you. Be nice to your spouse. Very important! They can only love you so much till they hear the truck start, soon as your eyes shut.

Avoid alcohol and have regular sex. Make sure that your spouse gets a great orgasm. That’s just so your spouse falls asleep before you, hopefully. Otherwise, you are in deep trouble with a frustrated spouse hearing you snore your way to heaven.

Practically, there are many devices out there for help with snoring. These range from sprays to the back of the throat to lozenges and sticky patches. I particularly like the patches that seem to glue the tongue to the palate and so prevent it from falling backwards. My wife swears it helps. I don’t know!

I know I have suggested wearing hearing aids or even the noise cancelling headphones from Bose. I am sure she would look pretty in pink, but she won’t buy one!

Medical assistance is often needed for habitual snorers (and their loved ones) to get a good night’s sleep. A sleep clinic and a dedicated sleep specialist may be required for a thorough assessment and discussing treatment options. Ear, nose and throat specialists can also help in managing problems with the nose and sinuses.

Help at hand The two specialists listed below can help:

1: Sleep Specialist, Dr Sola Oguntolu, MBBS, MACP, FCCP
Sleep Inc. Ltd: 49 Bourdillon Road|Duplex B|Ikoyi|Lagos|Nigeria
Telephone: +234 810 800 4400 | O: +234 1 632 6425
Email: sola.oguntolu@easysleepinc.com | W: www.easysleepinc.com

2: ENT specialist, Dr Tony Owa, MSc, FRCS, FRCS (ORL-HNS), FWACS
First Cardiology Consultants. Ikoyi, Lagos
Telephone: 08134419080
Email: tonyowa@hotmailcom