Abuja – Dr. Alifa Bude, an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor with the National Hospital, Abuja, says dieting and physical exercise can reduce or stop snoring.
Bude disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
He said a reasonable loss of weight can reduce fatty tissue in the back of the throat and decrease or even stop snoring.
He said lifestyle modification in managing snoring can be done by physical exercise, dieting, reduction in alcohol consumption and quitting smoking.
He added that exercise working out to tone your arms and legs, for example, also leads to toning the muscles in your throat, which in turn can lead to less snoring.
“This also helps to burn out fatty tissues and firms the inner lining of the skin.
“Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills and sedatives, especially before bedtime, because they relax the muscles in the throat and interfere with breathing,” he advised.
He also said snoring can lead to social and economic losses.
He said the effects of this extend to homes as both psychological and emotional stress lead to separation or divorce.
Bude pointed out that inadequate night sleep affects one’s productivity, arguing that sleeping at intervals causes less concentration at work, loss of time and money.
He explained that snoring is a noise that is generated in the upper airway of the respiratory tract as a result of partial obstruction of air intake; this noise affects an individual and people around him.
“It happens when you can’t move air freely through your nose and mouth during sleeping.
“It is caused by the narrowing of one’s airways either from poor sleep posture or abnormalities of soft tissues in the throat,” Bude explained.
According to Bude, snoring can be hereditary especially with families that are obese, adding that it can affect both children and adults.
He said it can be congenital (from birth) and in adults with defect of abnormal big tongue and swellings of soft tissues along the upper airway of their nostrils.
Bude said the ailment is more common among men because of the consistency in excessive intake of food and alcohol consumption.
He said it can lead to weight gain and are prone to develop tumours along their airways.
He added that partial sleep at night affects children physically by retarding their growth and mentally by slowing their learning abilities.
The medical practitioner stated that extreme cases of snoring can lead to migraine and heart complications from excessive work pressure on the heart.
He added that such pressure can cause difficulty in breathing which enlarges the heart, causes heart failure and leads to death.
Bude, however, said that snoring can be treated medically, through positional therapy and lifestyle modification.
He advised that children with very soft voice box at birth should be laid on their stomach or side while sleeping to avoid their tongue from blocking the airways.
“For adults tennis balls can be positioned at the back of their shirts to cause discomfort during sleep and helps them turn on their side to allow flow of air through their respiratory tract,” Bude narrated.
Bude explained that people with big tongues undergo surgeries and the excess is cut off.
“While those with soft throat have Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine fixed to their nostrils while sleeping to avoid complete obstruction of air.
“Traditional surgeries to increase the size of the airway by surgically removing tissues or correcting abnormalities can also help in the treatment of snoring
“The Pillar procedure is also an effective surgery in which small plastic implants are inserted into the soft palate,” he said.
He explained that Scar tissue grows around the implants, stiffening the soft palate, which stops vibrations that cause snoring.
He said advised that if individual efforts to stop snoring do not help; one should consult your physician or an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose and throat doctor, otherwise known as an (ENT).