What is Snoring and Sleep Apnea?
At least 45% of normal adult people snore from time to time. 25% snore constantly. The problem of snoring is most common in obese men and increases with age.
USA. More than 300 companies have developed devices against snoring. Some models are modifications of an old model, such as gluing a tennis ball to the back of pajamas (Snoring increases when lying on your back). Chin and neck straps, lanyards, and intraoral devices did not provide any benefit. Electronic devices have been found that work with the sound of snoring and wake the patient. All these were considered as the patient’s practice of sleeping without snoring. Unfortunately, snoring is a problem that is not under the control of the person, and all these devices are only intended to keep the patient asleep.
What Causes Snoring?
The sound in the form of noise that occurs when there is a narrowing in the airway behind the mouth and nose is called snoring. The back of the tongue and the area where the soft palate and uvula join with the nasal passage is a self-narrowing region. When these come on top of each other, they vibrate with respiration and snoring occurs. Someone who snores has at least one of the following problems.
Tongue and throat muscle tension is reduced. Loose muscles cannot prevent the tongue from slipping towards the back of the throat when lying on the back. This event occurs when a person who is relaxed by taking alcohol or drugs loses muscle control in his sleep. In some people, snoring can be seen again due to relaxation in the deep phase of sleep.
Excessively large tissues in the throat. Large tonsils and adenoids are the most common cause of snoring in children. Thick neck tissue is shown as the cause in obese people. Cysts and tumors can rarely snore in this way.
Excessively drooping and long soft palate and uvula narrows the airway towards the throat. As it hangs into the airway, it causes snoring like a valve.
The person with nasal congestion creates an excessive vacuum in the nasal cavity to get the air. This vacuum pulls collapsible tissues in the throat towards the airway. Thus, snoring begins to be seen in the person who does not snore while the nose is open. This explains why some people snore only during allergic periods or when there is flu or sinusitis. Nasal deformities are known as the causes of this type of nasal congestion. Deviation is defined as the protrusion of the middle part of the nose to the sides. It is the most common of the intranasal deformations.
Is Snoring a Serious Problem?
This seriously threatens family life. The person who snores becomes a laughing stock. He is held responsible for sleepless nights for other members of the family. The person who snores becomes an unwanted roommate on vacation and business trips. Medically yes! The self-harm is greater. There are nights spent without rest. High blood pressure is more common in people who snore excessively than people who don’t snore. The most severe form of snoring is the “occlusive type of snoring disease.”
In this disease known as “sleep apnea”, severe snoring is interrupted by a period of breathlessness. At this time, breathing completely stopped. More than 7 episodes of breathlessness that last longer than 10 seconds are life-threatening. In this case, your doctor will recommend that you be examined in a sleep center. In patients with apnea (breathlessness), blockages are encountered 30-300 times per hour. Thus, the blood oxygen level drops excessively during sleep. During this period when oxygen decreases, the heart has to pump blood more. After a while, the heart rhythm deteriorates, while high blood pressure and heart enlargement settle over the years. People with obstructive snoring disease can enter the deep sleep phase in a very small part of their sleep. The deep phase is the only way to true rest. The day of the night spent without rest will be sleepy, tired and unproductive. Sleepiness will occur while driving or at work.
Can Snoring Be Treated?
Many types of snoring can be treated. For adult snorers, the recommendations listed below should be followed.
To gain a good muscle tone, a sporty lifestyle should be chosen.
People who snore should not take sleeping pills, tranquilizers and allergy medications called antihistamines before sleep.
Avoid drinking alcohol 4 hours before sleep.
Avoid heavy meals 3 hours before sleep.
Avoid excessive fatigue.
It is preferable to lie on the side instead of lying on your back during sleep. Sewing a tennis ball to the back of your pajama back is still a useful method, as an old recommendation. This prevents sleeping on your back.
Turn your entire bed approximately 10 cm to one side so that the head of your bed is higher. For this purpose, placing a brick under one side of the bed will suit your purpose.
Allow time for people who do not snore at home to fall asleep before you do.
People who snore in all positions are called “heavy snorers”. These people need more help than the suggestions above.
When snoring becomes harmful to the person and his family, it would be appropriate to consult with your specialist doctor. This is especially when there is a problem of breathing during sleep (Loud snoring is interrupted by the period of breathlessness). It is even more important to consult your doctor. A detailed examination of the nose, mouth, throat and neck of the snoring patient should be done. Sleep laboratory studies are valuable in terms of determining the extent of snoring and the health of the snorer.
Treatment is undoubtedly based on diagnosis. This is simple such as allergy or infection treatment or requires surgery for tonsil, adenoid or nasal disorders. Snoring – Successful results are obtained from snoring surgeries that provide breathlessness, fixation of moving tissues and widening the airway. This is called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty surgery (UPPP). It does not feel very different from tonsil surgery for the patient. Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP), in which laser is used, is another surgery that can be performed under local anesthesia. In cases where the surgery is too risky or not desired by the patient, he/she can sleep by wearing a mask that gives compressed air to the throat (CPAP). Every child who snores chronically should be examined in detail by an ENT specialist. In cases where tonsil and adenoid surgery is necessary, surgical intervention will provide very important benefits to the health and development of the child.
Remember: Snoring is a dangerous cessation of breathing. Snoring is not funny, it is not hopeless at all.