wife snoring while husband can't sleepAside from keeping you awake at night, many individuals who snore heavily are at risk for damaging their upper airways in their sleep.  This, in turn, can lead to a plethora of medical problems including dysphagia, or trouble swallowing.  Researchers at the University of Sweden have been focusing on airway damage and the healing process (healing the damaged tissue).  Neurophysiological assessments have shown evidence of denervation in the pharyngeal muscles.  OSA patients will have lesions on the muscles in their upper airway, which are trauma induced, and lead to the collapse of the airway.  An OSA sufferer’s airway muscles are overly relaxed during sleep, making the respiratory efforts increasingly stronger (to combat the blockage).  This is the point that your bed partner will hear a loud gasp or be woken up from a loud snore.  People who snore regularly have a loss of nerves and muscle mass in the soft palate, so as the body tries to heal the muscles, they end up forming in an abnormal arrangement.  This becomes a cycle – the body is trying to heal, but the constant disruptions make it impossible.  This research focuses on growing muscles and nerve cells, which will hopefully be able to treat the airway damage and regenerate the nerves and muscles.  My good friend Dr. Alan Moses has also researched the future potential problems of snoring.