Snoring: causes , diagnosis and treatment

Aug 6, 2020 11:50 AM ET

Snoring is a deep, loud and annoying sound that wakes us up in the middle of the night or prevents us from falling asleep. Snoring affects more men than women, especially between 50 and 60 years, with approximately 55% of male cases, and 40% between 30 and 40 years. In a lower percentage, but also present, around 10-12% of children also snore .

In some cases, snoring is completely normal and does not involve any added problems; in others, its diagnosis is necessary because it is related to other complications , such as sleep apnea, which causes pauses in breathing during rest.

How can we distinguish it? For what reasons do we snore? Are there different types of snoring? And, most importantly, when should we be concerned? We answer all the questions and delve into this annoying sound that often keeps the whole family on edge.

What is snoring?

What is snoring and how does it occur?

The snoring become very common for many. Snoring is underdiagnosed, patients do not consider it severe and erroneously learn to live with it.The Snoring is an acoustic phenomenon produced by vibration of the soft tissues of the throat at the moment to take a breath during sleep.The snoring rarely bothers which issues them , but to the one who listens. Sharing the room with a snorer can be a maddening experience.Today there are different solutions, from medical devices to surgeries that help eliminate snoring , being effective treatments that improve the quality of life of the patient.

Types of snoring

Specifically, depending on their characteristics, they are classified into:

Sporadic. It is snoring that occurs on specific occasions, for example, after drinking alcohol or a cold in the nose.
Usual,that is, the person always snores.
Postural. Snoring can be related to a certain posture, such as on the back, which is the most frequent, or appear in any position.
Isolated or simple snoring. It does not entail other damage to health, but it can become a real nuisance at home, preventing family rest, in this case it is defined as social snoring .
Related to other situations, such as sleep apnea .

Causes of snoring

These are the reasons that are related to snoring:

Alcoholic beverages or drugs, since they can favor a low tone of the throat or tongue muscles.
The overweight,because it often leads to fat deposits in the neck or tonsils
Very large vegetations, or adenoids,that are excessive development of the tissues of the throat
Palate length. A very soft palate and a very large uvula reduce the area of ??the pharynx that communicates with the oral and nasal cavity.
Nasal breathing problem. If the nose has an obstruction in its cavities, it implies that the person needs a greater effort to breathe through the nose. Our pulmonologist explains that “this creates a negative pressure, or vacuum, in the pharynx that favors its closure.”
Anatomy, such as a short neck.
It is common for there to be snorers in the same family.

Snoring: diagnosis and treatment

Our pulmonologist advises us that “the first step in dealing with a snorer is to rule out that it is associated with sleep apnea .” For this, it is necessary to go to a consultation with the Pneumology specialist to assess the personal situation of the patient and his partner. Additionally, a sleep study test  may be recommended , in which a set of signals is recorded while resting.

It should be borne in mind that the origin of snoring may reside in the person’s anatomy, therefore, in this situation it is advisable to go to a specialist in Otorhinolaryngology or Maxillofacial Surgery, who will indicate the measures to be adopted, which may be different from the general ones.

Device to prevent snoring

It is one of the available Treatment of snoring that consists of an oral splint, known as a mandibular advancement device or DAM. By using this device, the jaw, tongue and soft palate are advanced, so that the airways remain open and consequently no vibration related to snoring occurs.

In addition to this technique, there are others available, the use of which will be indicated by specialists, who assess the characteristics of each person.

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