Snoring is the noise produced by a person during sleep. It is said to be a common problem that can affect persons of all ages and both genders although it occurs more frequently in men as they have narrower air passages than women.
As per the studies about 40 percent of adult men and 24 percent of adult women are habitual snorers. Men tend to snore less after they reach the age of 70.
As you breathe in air, and when the flow of air through the mouth and nose is physically obstructed makes the relaxed tissues in the back of your throat vibrate causing harsh irritating snoring sounds. It can occur during any stage of sleep.
In general people do not realize that they snore and may even snore loudly enough to wake up. Continuous Snoring causes a person to have a dry mouth or sore or irritated throat after waking up. Severe snoring can cause frequent awakenings at night and daytime sleepiness. These irritating sounds disrupt bed partner’s sleep.
Common Causes Of Snoring:
- Snoring can also be a sign of a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea.
- Excess weight just around your neck or throat (Bulky throat tissue) can cause snoring.
- Poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue
- Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications, such as tranquilizers can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
- A long soft palate or a long uvula (the dangling tissue in back of the mouth) can narrow the opening from the nose to the throat by vibrating and bumping against one another causing airway obstruction leading to snoring.
- You tend to snore more when you sleep on your back.
- You snore loudly and heavily if you are tired during the day.
How To Prevent Snoring?
- Losing even a little bit of weight can reduce fatty tissue in the back of the throat and decrease, or even stop, snoring.
- Quit smoking.
- Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives because they relax the muscles in the throat and interfere with breathing.
- Few specific exercises help to strengthen the muscles in your throat by recuing snoring.
- To stop snoring while sleeping elevate the head of your bed by four inches which may help reduce your snoring by keeping your airways open.
- To stop snoring immediately, sleep on your side but not flat on your back
Treatments For Snoring:
- A machine at your bedside which blows pressurized air into a mask that you wear over your nose or face to keep your airway open during sleep by Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).
- Using nasal strips on the bridge of the nose to help increase the space in the nasal passage.
- By undergoing treatment for chronic allergies which reduce airflow through your nose, which forces you to breathe through your mouth.
- Use of an oral appliance (Dental mouthpieces) can help keep your air passages open, making it easier for you to breathe. This prevents snoring.
Surgeries For Reducing Snoring And Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea Are:
Pillar procedure (palatal implant) is a minor surgery in which small polyester (plastic) rods are surgically implanted into the soft upper palate of your mouth to treat snoring and less severe cases of sleep apnea. The size of implants is about 18 millimeters long and 1.5 millimeters in diameter. The palate stiffens by gradual healing of the tissue around these implants which helps in keeping the tissue more rigid and less likely to vibrate and cause snoring.
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is a procedure which uses a laser to shorten the uvula and to make small cuts in the soft palate either side. Vibrations are prevented by the stiffened surrounding tissues that trigger snoring as the cuts get healed.
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) a surgical procedure done under local anesthesia that involves removing some the soft tissues in the back and top of the throat to keep airway more open. This includes the uvula, which hangs at the throat’s opening, as well as some of the throat walls and palate.This surgery can cause long-term side effects like problems swallowing, voice changes, or the permanent feeling of something in your throat (rarely).
Maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) is an extensive surgical procedure that moves the upper (maxilla) and lower (mandibular) jaws forward to open your airway by reducing the chance of obstruction and make snoring less likely.
- Somnoplasty is performed under local anesthesia which uses low levels of radiofrequency heat to remove tissues of the uvula and soft palate that vibrate during snoring.
- Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP), tonsillectomy, and adenoidectomy, increase the size of your airway by surgically removing tissues or correcting abnormalities.
Septoplasty and turbinate reduction are often done at the same time as help in opening the airways in the nose, making breathing easier and snoring less likely. Septoplasty involves straightening the tissues and bones in the center of your nose. Turbinate reduction involves decreasing the size of tissue inside your nose that helps moisten and warm the air you breathe.
In Hypoglossal nerve stimulation, the nerve that controls the muscles in the upper airway can help keep airways open and reduce snoring with a surgically implanted device that stimulates the hypoglossal nerve. It’s activated during sleep and can sense when the person wearing it is not breathing normally
Genioglossus advancement involves taking the tongue muscle that attaches to the lower jaw and pulling it forward. This makes the tongue firmer by less relaxation during sleep.
Hyoid suspension is a surgery wherein a surgeon moves the base of the tongue and elastic throat tissue called the epiglottis forward which helps in opening the breathing passage more deeply into the throat.
Midline glossectomy surgery is used to reduce the size of the tongue by removing parts of the middle and back of the tongueby increasing the size of your airway.