What You Should About Snoring Problems And Solutions
Snoring puts many marriages to the test and the anomaly is by no means just a men’s problem. Although snoring is not a threat to health in most cases, it can be extremely loud and annoying. Unlike the dangerous sleep apnea syndrome, which entails nocturnal pauses in breathing snoring does not harm health. However, it has a negative impact on relationships and the mental state of the affected partners in everyday life. About 60 to 80 percent of men over 50 snore and many women are in no way better than men.
The snoring sound is caused by fluttering movements of the palate and the uvula, in part of the base of the tongue and the throat when breathing. In some cases, it may be caused by nasal obstruction.
The problem may not be triggered by a complete blockage of the airways but only a narrowing. Oftentimes, the oropharynx (mouth-throat) is involved in snoring. The oral pharynx behaves as a dynamic valve as it breathes in, becoming progressively tighter during inhalation. The increased flow velocity in the mouth throat affects the soft palate.
What Causes Snoring?
If the connective tissue and the muscles of the soft palate are firm, snoring is prevented. If the connective tissue is soft and the muscles limp, a flapping movement of the soft palate occurs. The strength of the soft palate depends on age and sleep stage. In REM sleep, the muscles are considerably relaxed. This is why rapid eye movement sleep (REM) sleep is more likely to cause snoring than non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM).
During inhalation, the snore of the soft palate swings back and forth between the base of the tongue and the posterior pharyngeal wall. During exhalation, the soft palate flips forward and flutters between the hard palate and the back of the tongue. As part of the aging of the tissue, not only the soft palate but also the increasingly soft throat can be involved in snoring.
The tongue can also contract the throat by falling back while lying down. Several factors may cause this symptom. Snoring is a rather complex fluid dynamic problem.
For most sufferers, snoring occurs depending on the body position. It often happens in the supine position to snore when the lower jaw of the sleeping is not supported and he breathes through the open mouth. If the body registers a lack of oxygen caused by the difficult breathing, it triggers a change of position. Overweight or genetic predisposition can also be responsible for the fact that there is an anatomical peculiarity that ultimately causes snoring
In addition to being overweight and drinking alcohol, the most common causes include narrowing of the upper respiratory tract due to enlargement or relaxation of soft tissue parts in the nasopharynx. Normally, the air flows freely through the throat into the lungs during breathing.
But, during sleep, the muscle tension in the body decreases, so that gravity, especially in supine position, the tongue and the soft palate slide back towards the pharyngeal wall. If the air now moves past the resulting constriction, it audibly vibrates the contact sites of the pharyngeal mucous membranes.
Examination Of Snoring Problems
In any case, it is important to have a thorough examination to make sure that snoring is not linked to the dangerous sleep apnea syndrome. The patient usually spends one night in the sleep laboratory, where numerous parameters are recorded. They show whether there are dangerous breathing pauses or other abnormalities during sleep. Meanwhile, there are also devices for outpatient sleep diagnostics, which allow recording of the patient’s sleep in a familiar environment. It is important to note that experts advise against premature surgery.
It is particularly important to find out at which point the snoring sound arises. Only very rarely is the problem in the nose. If a lot of soft tissue on the soft palate is the cause, an operative tightening of the tissue is considered. But not a few patients suffer from the procedure in pain and continue to snore. Experts, therefore, warn against a premature operation.
Individuals who snore as a result of the tongue falling back when they sleep can be given to a special rail, which pushes the lower jaw forward and thus increases the distance between tongue and palate. The physician first checks whether the teeth and the holding device are in order and then makes an impression for the splint. It consists of two parts for the upper and the lower jaw, which is held together by a connecting element.
This element ensures that the lower jaw, tongue and soft palate are gently pulled forward and the air flows unhindered and quietly through the throat again. The costs for the procedure are usually not reimbursed by the health insurance.
An old, often effective home remedy is the so-called chin band. A bandage placed under the chin is tied over the head and keeps the lower jaw in a stable position. Similarly, elastic straps from the pharmacy also work. Nasal patches, on the other hand, only help with disturbed nasal breathing. They change the pitch when snoring and dampen the volume.
The success of surgical interventions is controversial and one disadvantage is that they are often irreversible. It is possible to tighten the palate and the pharynx and remove the suppository. As a rule, the palatine tonsils are also removed during this procedure. The surgery must be performed in a hospital under general anesthesia and complications are rare.
Another method involves the use of a laser, which removes part of the palate and the suppository. This surgical technique is referred to as Laser Assisted Uvula Palato Plastic (LAUP). The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. However, an operation under anesthesia is recommended. Complications of this laser procedure are relatively rare.
Radiofrequency Therapy (RFITT) has also become established in recent years. Probes are inserted into the pharyngeal tissue and the tissue is brought to a boil at relatively low temperatures by means of high frequency in the ISM band. Cicatricial shrinkage of the palate may result in tissue stabilization and the reduction of snoring noise.
Sleep apnea syndrome
There may be respiratory arrest due to the complete collapse of the throat or cervical soft tissue. Such a respiratory arrest can occur several times per night, which greatly affects sleep. An extreme form of snoring associated with respiratory arrest is called obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS); it is a serious sleep disorder.
The noise level of snoring at 20 decibels is comparable to the volume of foliage rustle, but it can also reach much higher levels. Records list snoring of 93 decibels, which corresponds to the noise level of a busy highway.
Snoring endangers the health of the partner and the stability of the relationship. According to a study by the University of Surrey in 2005, some couples did not perceive their partner’s snoring because their sleep was deeper.
Simple, self-imposed measures can be used to combat snoring. If done properly, they can succeed in alleviating the snoring; however, these measures are not always successful.
Some head positions may cause the nasal mucous membranes to swell slightly in some people. This can further affect the nasal breathing, thus triggering or amplifying snoring. This can be counteracted by shifting the head up. However, an excessive head lift, in turn, promotes snoring and the dangerous sleep apnea.
The lack of space is further enhanced on the respiratory tract, thus resulting in airway constrictions. Since the supine position leads to frequent snoring (by gravity: soft palate or tongue pulls down more), one should change the sleeping position. In the last 3-4 hours before sleeping any alcohol consumption should be avoided. The use of highly relaxing drugs (sleep aids, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants) should be avoided as far as possible.
Since fat also deposits in the throat area (on the walls of the cavities) and thus narrows the respiratory diameter, weight loss is the treatment of choice for severe obesity.
Another possibility is to fix the soft palate by means of a simple clip. By inserting a palate clip into the oral cavity of the air duct is down
The Air duct behind the soft palate is mechanically prevented from closing. Thus, a low-resistance air passage is sought in the sleep state and noise-generating vibrations should be prevented directly from the source. Some patients snore only in the supine position and they can be helped by a back positioning aid. This aid comes in the form of a towel-filled backpack with waist belt, which makes the supine so uncomfortable that it cannot be unconsciously assumed at night.
Nocturnal positive pressure ventilation with a mask (CPAP treatment) is suitable for increasing the pressure in the respiratory tract, preventing a collapse of the respiratory tract and thereby suppressing snoring. However, this method is associated with the inconvenience of a nocturnal breathing mask, so that it is usually only for special impairment of the patient in the form of daytime fatigue and concentration disorders as well as during nocturnal breathing pauses.