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Snoring & Sleep Apnoea

Snoring is a problem which seems to be innocent and is not regarded as a reason of morbidity for most of the population. Forty-five percent of normal adults snore at least occasionally and 25 percent are habitual snorers. Problem snoring is more frequent in males and overweight people and usually worsens with age. Snoring may be an indication of obstructed breathing and should not be taken lightly. An otolaryngologist can help you to determine where the anatomic source of your snoring may be, and offer solutions for this noisy and often embarrassing behaviour.

What Is Causing Me To Snore!!!!!

The obstruction to the flow of the air through upper airway passages results in noisy sounds of snoring. This area is collapsible due to the anatomical make up, causing the structures to strike against each other and vibrate during sleep when the patient breathes.

In children, snoring may be a sign of problems with the tonsils and adenoids. A chronically snoring child should be examined for enlarged tonsillar and adenoid tissue.

Why Is Snoring Serious?

Socially

Snoring can cause social stigma because it makes the snorer an object of ridicule and can cause the bed partner disturbance and sleeping difficulty due to the sounds being produced by the heavy snoring of the partner and can even result in marital discord.

Medically

Snoring is not just a social stigma but signs towards the lurking danger of developing obstructive sleep apnoea, which can result in long term health problems such as hypertension. It deprives the individual of adequate sleep which can result in daytime hyper somnolence and can seriously affect the normal daily routine of the patient.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Snoring has a dangerous aspect to it, as it may develop in a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is characterized by multiple episodes of cessation of breathing greater than 10 seconds at a time, due to collapse of the upper airway or narrowing of the same. This results in lowering of the oxygen levels in the blood which results in increased cardiac stress. It also causes disruption of the natural sleep cycle, which makes people feel poorly rested despite adequate time in bed. Aponea can be classified as mild, moderate or severe depending on the number of episodes of apnoea that the patient might be having per hour during the sleep.

The immediate effect of sleep apnea is that the snorer has a disturbed sleep and experiences frequent arousals during the night in order to maintain the airflow to the lungs. Because the snorer does not get a good rest, he or she may be sleepy during the day, which impairs job performance and makes him or her a hazardous driver or equipment operator. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of developing heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and many other medical problems and creates a vicious cycle.

Treating sleep apnoea

A variety of surgical and medical options are available for the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. Medical options include positive pressure known as continuous positive airway pressure(CPAP), oral appliances, and weight loss. These treatment options depend on regular, long-term adherence to be effective. In patients having difficulty with these treatments, surgical procedures can be opted for which includes surgical procedures for the nose, palate, tonsils, adenoids, tongue can be a beneficial alternative. Surgical therapy can also be effective when used as an adjunct to improve tolerance and success with CPAP or an oral appliance.

Surgery is an effective and safe treatment option for many patients with snoring and sleep apnea, particularly those who are unable to use or tolerate CPAP. Proper patient and procedure selection is critical to successful surgical management of obstructive sleep apnoea.