We try to laugh it off whenever we come across a filler in the magazines or newspapers about a couple getting divorced because one of the spouses was snoring. Actually the problem of snoring is more serious. It is not a mere nuisance. Snoring can lead to serious social and health consequences.

Increased risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease and high blood pressures are linked with snoring.

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The sleeping partner and the snorer both lose their sleep due to snoring. In order to stop the snoring, the snorer might wake up often and this also leads to disturbances in the sleeping pattern of the spouse. During the day, the couples face lack of productivity, irritability and sleepiness due to the disturbed sleep caused by snoring.

Snoring can cause one of the spouses to sleep in another room, leading the relationship to go sour. Social and physical intimacies of a couple are also affected by the snoring. The couple becomes unhappy and the snoring partner feels isolated.

There are different variations of snoring. Mild snoring can be cured by waking up and turning to the opposite side. If a person continues to snore, despite the changes in sleeping positions, then it is labeled as severe snoring.

Severe snoring can also cause severe sleep deprivation for the couple which can lead to the immune system not responding quickly to the healing process, very poor emotional and mental health, mood changes, not thinking very clearly and slow reaction.

Heredity, obesity, approaching old age, being a male, smoking, lacking health fitness, deformities in the nose, tonsils or enlarged adenoids, lengthy soft-palate, alcoholism, allergies, cold, sinus infection and sleeping on the back with overlay of pillows which are soft are some of the causes for snoring.

To stop snoring, try to reduce weight, sleep on your side, sleep without a pillow, try to elevate the head at least four inches from the bed, avoid smoking and secondary smoke, do not eat heavy food or alcohol before bed and say no to high-fat dairy products before bed time. Try decongestants to clear nasal passages.

Nasal strips and sprays which claim to cure snoring are available in the market. Most of them are unproven and can not withstand any serious medical research. Occasionally some of them might cure mild snoring.

If all the above do not give any relief consult a good ENT practitioner, who might suggest continuous positive airway pressure which is nothing but sleeping with an air mask to get continuous air pressure in the throat and thereby reduce the snoring if not stop it completely.

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