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Snoring Treatment

Snoring Treatment and Surgery

Snoring is a fairly prevalent problem in our country and throughout the world, affecting approximately 45% of the population and frequently more than 25%. It is more common in men than in women, and it is more prevalent in overweight people. Women typically begin snoring after the age of 50, and it is connected with hormonal factors.

This disorder impacts many couples’ cohabitation, causing low quality sleep, disturbed sleep, and even insomnia. It is usually the snorer’s partner that insists on finding a solution.

What Causes Snoring?

The vibrating of tissues in the airways causes snoring. The most common is produced by uvula vibration, which can become inflamed and cause significant discomfort. The vibration of the epiglottic cartilage is another common cause of snoring. As a result, anything that generates gaps in the airway, such as oil, mucus, alcohol, or sedatives, will exacerbate the condition.

A snoring sound is produced when the passage of air via the back of the mouth and nose becomes obstructed. The tongue overlaps the soft palate and the tiny tongue, or uvula, in this location. As these components meet, a vibration develops during breathing, resulting in the usual snoring sound. Snoring is more frequent in men and those who are obese or overweight, and it worsens with age.

The Most Common Signs of Snoring

Decreased muscular tone in the muscles of the throat or tongue

The tongue falls backwards due to loose muscles, and the throat muscles constrict the airway. This occurs when a person’s muscular tone becomes overly relaxed as a result of drowsiness caused by alcohol, medication, or narcotics. Yet, it can also happen when people relax during deep sleep stages.

Tissue growth

Snoring in children, for example, is caused by big tonsils or overgrown adenoids (vegetations). Obesity patients see a rise in the size of these tissues as well. Similarly, albeit less frequently, cysts or tumors can cause snoring.

Extremely soft palate

A broad palate can constrict the space between the nose and the neck. The soft palate acts as a flow valve over the airway entry, contributing to the loudness of snoring when breathing comfortably. A big uvula exacerbates the situation.

Nasal blockage

When you have nasal congestion or a blockage, you must make an effort to breathe through your nose. This causes an excessive vacuum in the throat, causing portion of the airway to collapse and soft tissues to press into the throat. This is why viral infections of the nose can produce snoring in persons who do not normally snore. This explains why some people only snore in the spring (pollen allergy sufferers). Similarly, nasal septum deformations are a common source of air blockage and sleep snoring.

When should I go to the doctor?

Snoring is a symptom that can be a warning indication of a more serious condition, so if snoring is affecting your quality of life, especially if you have symptoms of shortness of breath in the middle of the night or exhaustion throughout the day, you should see a doctor. It should be mentioned that snoring and sleep apnea tend to worsen as people get older.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea Complications

Snoring differs from sleep apnea in that snoring is a pathology that can be simply uncomfortable and disruptive to coexisting, whereas sleep apnea is a more dangerous disorder caused by a shortage of oxygen during sleep. The two are frequently found together.

Snoring patients may have mood problems, concentration and memory issues, irritability, and nightmares, whereas sleep apnea can cause complications such as exhaustion throughout the day, higher risk of accidents, anger.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea Causes

As previously stated, snoring is caused by a lack of airway clearance. Many variables influence the onset of these pathologies:

  • Obesity
  • Large vocabulary
  • Neck length and/or thickness
  • Soft-tissue hypertrophy of the palate
  • Sagging of the pharyngeal walls.

Snoring Diagnosis

An otolaryngologist is a physician who specializes in the treatment of snoring. The doctor will collect signs and symptoms during the appointment, which is frequently accompanied by a physical examination. If possible, the doctor will also interrogate the patient’s partner or cohabitants, who may be able to provide information regarding the patient’s sleep.

Planning for the consultation:

Make a list of all symptoms that appear. There are other symptoms that have nothing to do with snoring but might be extremely useful to the doctor.

Request that your partner or family members study your sleeping habits and, if feasible, accompany you to the consultation.

Tell them of whatever medications you are currently taking.

During the consultation, please answer the following questions:

  • Can you remember when you first started snoring?
  • Do you know whether or not you snore every night?
  • Is there anything that aggravates your snoring?
  • Is your companion reporting pauses or anomalies in your breathing while you’re sleeping?
  • Do you feel suffocating or short of breath when you wake up?

How Can I Stop Snoring?

Although surgery is the most effective therapy, there are a few other options for treating snoring:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese.
  • Avoid sedatives and alcohol.
  • Smoking should be avoided.
  • Avoid sleeping too little.
  • Avoid large dinners.
  • Physical activity on a regular basis
  • Sleeping on your side is superior to sleeping on your back.

When snoring is accompanied by sleep apnea, the doctor may advise the following:

Mouth apparatus

It is custom-made to assist pull the jaw, tongue, and soft palate forward and keep the airway open.

Positive airway pressure (CPAP)

A mask that blows compressed air at you. It can be uncomfortable at times, and some patients complain about the device’s noise.

Snoring Treatment

The most effective treatment for snoring and sleep apnea is surgery. The intervention will seek to repair the alterations in the nose and throat that are causing these issues.

There are many snoring procedures, and their efficiency varies depending on the patient. The following are a few examples:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

The otolaryngologist performs a “throat lift” by cutting and tightening the extra throat tissue. It is one of the most commonly recommended surgeries. A uvulectomy, or uvula removal, can also be performed.

Maxillomandibular (MMA)

It is used to expand the airway by moving the jaw forward.

Radiofrequency treatment

Tissue ablation with radiofrequency energy is used to shrink tissue in the tongue, soft palate, or nose.

Nose Surgery

Almost all patients require nasal surgery to guarantee proper nasal flow. Just 15% of snoring patients benefit from nasal surgery alone. As a result, additional areas of the upper airway must be operated on as well.

Surgery in multiple layers

This type of surgery can treat four sites at the same time: the palate, tonsils and lateral pharyngeal wall, tongue, and epiglottis.

Postoperative Care

The postoperative period might extend anywhere from 10 to 14 days. The results are excellent, but the patient must adhere to hygienic dietary guidelines following surgery.

Risks and Complications

Although this type of surgery has almost no adverse effects, infections, swelling, sore throat, discomfort when swallowing, tearing of small blood vessels or tissues, constriction of the airway in the nose and throat, and other difficulties are possible.