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Snoring: An "Ill Wind" Anywhere

USC sleep specialist Dr. Antoinette Rutherford says there's a cure for everyone who snores - it's just a matter of finding the right method for each individual.
Nick Wilkes [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Snoring can ruin the sleep of millions of South Carolinians, and it doesn’t do the snorer any good, either.  Sleep expert Dr. Robert Puchalski says vibrations in the throat cause snoring, and by the passing of air through a tight space in the upper airway, in the way that wind instruments create sound.  At least half of people snore, according to USC sleep specialist Dr. Antoinette Rutherford.   That includes 10 percent of children, who manifest the effects of snoring differently than adults:  they become hyper rather than tired, and thus cannot pay as close attention in class, causing their grades to be affected.  Rutherford advises snoring children be evaluated by a professional in addition to adults.   

There is a range of treatments, including oral appliances and surgery, to correct snoring, but Puchalski lists some natural ways to reduce or eliminate snoring: lose weight, avoid alcohol and other sedatives, experiment with body positioning in bed.  Often, sleeping sitting upright will help reduce snoring.  According to Rutherford, everyone can be cured of snoring, it’s just a matter of finding what method is most effective for each individual. 

Tut Underwood is producer of South Carolina Focus, a weekly news feature. A native of Alabama, Tut graduated from Auburn University with a BA in Speech Communication. He worked in radio in his hometown before moving to Columbia where he received a Master of Mass Communications degree from the University of South Carolina, and worked for local radio while pursuing his degree. He also worked in television. He was employed as a public information specialist for USC, and became Director of Public Information and Marketing for the South Carolina State Museum. His hobbies include reading, listening to music in a variety of styles and collecting movies and old time radio programs.