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HEALTH & SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES
We snore because our throats represent one of nature's biggest compromises. The throat is a tube that must serve multiple functions: breathing, talking, eating and drinking. But the engineering requirements for these activities are different. The tongue and upper airway must be flexible for the task of creating sounds, swallowing food and liquids, but for breathing we need a stiff tube that won't collapse while we suck air into our lungs.
Snoring is actually the upper airway becoming partially obstructed as the body relaxes into sleep. As air moves through the limited space it causes the soft tissues of the throat, uvula and soft palate to vibrate, thus causing that noise we call snoring!
Snoring is known as a sleep disorder when it disrupts the snorers own sleep. It is then called Pathological snoring or being a 'sleepy snorer' and it causes similar symptoms to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, such as excessive daytime sleepiness. This is because even snoring alone prevents the sleeper, let alone any others nearby, from obtaining really deep sleep. Snoring on a frequent or regular basis has been directly associated with hypertension.
...SO WHY RISK YOUR HEALTH BY SNORING?
Snoring responds well to treatment using CPAP, or an Oral Appliance such as a Somnoguard Oral Appliance or by weight loss (if appropriate) or surgery.
In New Zealand it is recommended the presence of significant apnea is ruled out by sleep study before beginning to treat Snoring.