Snoring is an abnormal sound that accompanies breathing. It leads to sleep disorders and body hypoxia. Thus, it is impossible to achieve a healthy sleep. It can cause constant fatigue and also sleep deprivation even after a few hours of rest. Quite often it is the subject of jokes, but it is not worth ignoring, because it can lead to health-hazardous apneas. Home snoring options are simple tips on diet and lifestyle. If they are not enough, you should urgently go to an ENT specialist who will consider the appropriate treatment for snoring.
1. Snoring – characteristics
Every tenth man snores. Mostly they are men (80%). Women most often begin to snore during menopause. This sound arises when the throat narrows during sleep, and the flaccid walls of the upper airways set in motion by the flowing air begin to vibrate. The intensity of sounds during snoring can reach up to 90 decibels, which is comparable to the sound of a working lawn mower, the volume of which is approximately 75-93 decibels.
If snoring happens sporadically, we should not be worried. The problem arises, however, when the sounds of snoring are getting louder, followed by a long silence followed by a sudden single snore. Such a situation may indicate sleep apnea. These types of breath interruptions can last up to one minute, and if repeated several times during the night, they can cause hypoxia of the brain, kidneys, heart and liver.
Most often this happens to people with a nasal septum, enlarged almonds, an elongated soft palate, an overgrown tongue or other anatomical abnormalities. Usually, people suffering from obesity, suffering from arterial hypertension, and people who drank a significant amount of alcohol at bedtime snore.
It is worth to learn ways to help fight this condition.
2. Snoring – Causes
The snoring itself is that during sleep, our musculature becomes flabby, causing the back of the throat to fall, while touching the root of the tongue. As a result of this action, a small gap remains, thanks to which we can breathe normally when falling asleep. In a situation when the airways become clogged, we begin to have a problem with getting air.
By increasing the concentration of CO2 in the blood the respiratory center in the brain gets information that something bad happens with the sleeping person, the brain wakes up to work extra breathing muscles, located in the diaphragm and chest and as a result after the episode of apnea lasting from 10 to 60 seconds is very much rapid pickup of air.
The following factors may affect snoring:
- drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes
- the age of the snoring – the older the person is, the more likely they are to have breathing problems,
- incorrect nasal patency,
- improper construction of the throat – during the sleep, the flaccid parts of the throat, the soft palate and the tongue are subject to vibrations caused by the flowing air. In this way, a characteristic acoustic phenomenon is created.
3. Snoring – diagnostics
It is important that snore partners carefully observe their loved ones; it is also worth checking how many times an hour apnea occurs. If there are more than 10 per hour and last longer than 10 seconds, it is worth considering sleep apnea diagnostics. They can also be accompanied by sweating and blueness due to hypoxia.
Diagnostics involves a visit to the so-called sleep laboratory, where the specialist attaches to the specialist’s equipment for the night and performs such tests as:
- EEG – assessment of bioelectric brain activity,
- EMG – assessment of muscle tone,
- EEA – registration of eye movements,
- ECG – a record of the heart’s regularity,
- registration of air flow,
- monitoring of breathing,
- pulse oximetry and arterial blood gasometry,
- record of the volume of snoring using a microphone,
chest chest movements.
Based on these tests, the doctor has a full picture of the course of sleep and thanks to him decides how to treat the patient. Depending on the reason for snoring, treatment is implemented.
To exclude sleep disturbance due to stress caused by in-hospital testing, the patient can also be monitored at home with a special device that records blood oxygen levels, sounds of snoring, changes in heart rate and body position 24 hours a day. Doctors also learn, among others, how much air flows through the snore inhalation and how the muscle tone changes.
4. Snoring – effects of untreated snoring
Snoring is treated indulgently, but when it is not treated, it can lead to many diseases that impede normal functioning.
The main consequences of untreated snoring are:
trouble with concentration,
no interest in sex in women,
In addition, accidents at work and road collisions are often caused by problems with concentration and lack of sleep, while children who suffer from snoring are worse off in fitness tests and develop more slowly than their peers.
5. Snoring – treatment
Before starting treatment, the doctor must determine which places interfere with breathing. For this purpose, an apnograph is used, which additionally allows to identify the narrowing site in the airways.
Surgical snoring treatment may be initiated if the patient’s weight indicates a maximum of the following BMI: 40. Get to know your BMI.
Treatment methods are:
surgical treatment of snoring – consists in carrying out a small plasticity of the throat, the tongue and the arches of the sky. This type of procedure is called UPP or UPPP,
laser snoring treatment – in lighter cases, which is a painless and bloodless procedure,
if the reason for snoring is the presence of polyps in the nose, hypertrophied tonsils or the curve of the nasal septum, the most common procedure should be to remove or straighten them,
you can also use specialized orthodontic appliances that are put on for the night to your lips. They are helpful in small and moderate snoring, because they counteract the collapse of the tongue towards the larynx.
6. Snoring – home methods
Domestic snoring methods are based on simple rules:
- before bedtime, do not drink alcohol,
- do not take sleeping pills,
- do not take sedatives,
- consider quitting smoking,
- it is worth changing the sleeping position, preferably in this case to sleep on the side or on the stomach,
- grow a sport adapted to your body weight and fitness, preferably under the supervision of a trainer,
- in the case of obesity, ask a dietitian for help,
- it’s worth curing sinusitis if it’s teasing us
in menopausal women it is good to use hormone replacement therapy.
7. Snoring – a handful of curiosities
If a small child or infant happens to snore all night, it should be examined by a doctor. It can be a cold symptom, during which the third mid-leg grows. In this case, snoring should clear up after healing the infection. During this period, it is good to give your baby (over 3 months of age) a few days of nose drops to make it easier to open and to help with breathing at night. Should sleep then in a position on the side.
In children who often get infections of the upper respiratory tract, sometimes the third tonsil becomes permanently overgrown, causing the airflow through the nose and throat to be hindered, as a result of which the child snores, so he breathes with his mouth. The air that passes only through the throat is unheated and unpurified, which can cause further illness. After a longer period of such an illness, there may be adverse changes in the bite and within the palate. The tonsillectomy may help.
Japanese scientists have invented a special cushion with a microphone, which on the sound of snoring rises from one side and turns the head of a sleeping person on the other side.
In Finland, research has been carried out, which shows that the risk of death from stroke or stroke in snorers is regularly three and a half times higher than in non-snoring or those who do not. A heart attack in snorers occurs most often in the morning than at other times of the day.