Snor­ing is one of the most com­mon prob­lems that is often under­es­ti­mat­ed. Often, against this back­ground, a per­son receives a lot of jokes and mock­ery in his address, as a result of which he post­pones going to the doc­tor. But a snor­ing house­hold mem­ber does not so much cre­ate incon­ve­nience for his rel­a­tives as he expos­es him­self to rather seri­ous dan­ger. Late treat­ment of snor­ing can lead to adverse con­se­quences: that is why doc­tors rec­om­mend not post­pon­ing a vis­it to a spe­cial­ist. In recent years, many mod­ern and safe ther­a­pies have been devel­oped.

What is snoring and why is it dangerous?

What is snoring and why is it dangerous?

Snor­ing is not just a bizarre set of sounds that a sleep­ing per­son makes. It is a spe­cif­ic process that accom­pa­nies breath­ing, which is char­ac­ter­ized by the for­ma­tion of rat­tling and vibra­tion. Accord­ing to sta­tis­ti­cal stud­ies, this dis­ease is faced by peo­ple main­ly in adult­hood (from 45 years of age and old­er), but snor­ing can occur ear­li­er due to anatom­i­cal fea­tures. It is known that the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the stronger sex have a greater propen­si­ty for its devel­op­ment.

The mech­a­nism of sound accom­pa­ni­ment for­ma­tion dur­ing sleep is asso­ci­at­ed with invol­un­tary relax­ation of the soft palate and tongue. If a per­son has a too long or large tongue, this con­tributes to increased vibra­tion. Oth­er caus­es of the devel­op­ment of the dis­ease:

  • devi­at­ed sep­tum of the nose;
  • the pres­ence of polyps, for­eign bod­ies and oth­er for­ma­tions in the nasal cav­i­ty;
  • brain injury;
  • an increase in the size of the ton­sils;
  • ali­men­ta­ry obe­si­ty;
  • age-relat­ed changes in the soft tis­sues of the phar­ynx (in per­sons over 65 years of age).

In 60% of cas­es, snor­ing is accom­pa­nied by the devel­op­ment of sleep apnea — stop­ping breath­ing dur­ing sleep. This con­tributes to day­time fatigue, night­time insom­nia, and decreased per­for­mance. Some stud­ies high­light the link between sleep apnea and cere­brovas­cu­lar acci­dents.

Healthy lifestyle against snoring: is it possible to do without surgery?

Often, a healthy lifestyle helps to cope with an unpleas­ant symp­tom (espe­cial­ly in young patients). The patient is rec­om­mend­ed to com­plete­ly recon­sid­er his dai­ly rou­tine, as well as the nature of his diet. Patients who are over­weight must be pre­scribed a diet low in fat and car­bo­hy­drates, as well as reg­u­lar exer­cise. You need to grad­u­al­ly get rid of extra pounds: ther­a­peu­tic exer­cis­es, yoga and swim­ming will help with this. It is also rec­om­mend­ed to quit smok­ing and lim­it the intake of alco­holic bev­er­ages, do not overeat at night.

It is rec­om­mend­ed to pro­vide the most com­fort­able con­di­tions for falling asleep: a dark room, cool air, and the absence of sound stim­uli. Doc­tors also advise pur­chas­ing an air humid­i­fi­er: the high tem­per­a­ture in the room leads to the evap­o­ra­tion of mois­ture, which also neg­a­tive­ly affects the con­di­tion of the mucous mem­brane of the nasal cav­i­ty and mouth. It is bet­ter to sleep on your side, since in this way the like­li­hood of devel­op­ing extra­ne­ous sounds is reduced.

Conservative treatment of snoring

In recent years, many dif­fer­ent anti-snor­ing devices and tech­niques have been devel­oped. Domes­tic and for­eign pub­li­ca­tions offer patients to play the pipe, gri­mace in front of a mir­ror, sew a ten­nis ball on the back of paja­mas, wear a spe­cial muz­zle, and also hang a bell on their hand that will ring when chang­ing body posi­tion. How­ev­er, most of these meth­ods do not have any sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence base: they lead to the appear­ance of insom­nia, and snor­ing remains a prob­lem for the patient.

One of the most adapt­ed tech­nolo­gies is a spe­cial elec­tron­ic device. It detects the occur­rence of snor­ing, and also sends elec­tri­cal impuls­es to the sur­face of the skin of a sleep­ing per­son. The patient changes posi­tion of the body, but does not wake up.

CPAP therapy

CPAP therapy

For the first time CPAP ther­a­py was pro­posed to com­bat snor­ing in the eight­ies of the last cen­tu­ry in Aus­tralia. The method is based on pro­vid­ing arti­fi­cial ven­ti­la­tion of the lungs with the help of con­stant pos­i­tive pres­sure. The device for such treat­ment is select­ed indi­vid­u­al­ly for each patient, which allows you to adjust it in accor­dance with the desired indi­ca­tors.

Treat­ing snor­ing with CPAP ther­a­py can solve the prob­lem. An addi­tion­al advan­tage of this method is the con­stant moist­en­ing of the mucous mem­brane of the res­pi­ra­to­ry tract. CPAP ther­a­py is car­ried out for sev­er­al months or on a life­time basis. How­ev­er, this method of treat­ment has some con­traindi­ca­tions, which must be famil­iar­ized with before start­ing ther­a­py.

Surgery for snoring

Not every patient is ready to ven­ture into sur­gi­cal treat­ment of snor­ing. How­ev­er, if con­ser­v­a­tive ther­a­py does not bring the expect­ed result with­in six months, it is rec­om­mend­ed to recon­sid­er the anti-snor­ing strat­e­gy. Sur­gi­cal elim­i­na­tion of nasal sep­tum defects, removal of polyps and oth­er for­eign for­ma­tions is car­ried out. In the pres­ence of a large tongue or pro­lif­er­a­tion of pala­tine ton­sils, an oper­a­tion is also per­formed. Laser plas­ty and cry­oplas­ty of the soft palate are wide­ly used: pin­point burns are applied to the sur­face of tis­sues, result­ing in asep­tic inflam­ma­tion. In the process of heal­ing, the vol­ume of the soft palate decreas­es, as a result of which the acoustics of the orophar­ynx and nasophar­ynx change: the sound phe­nom­e­non dis­ap­pears. Reha­bil­i­ta­tion after such an inter­ven­tion lasts no more than 5–10 days.

One of the most mod­ern meth­ods of treat­ing the dis­ease is the instal­la­tion of palatal implants. A group of sci­en­tists con­duct­ed a study in which 20 peo­ple under­went surgery to intro­duce a sys­tem of palatal implants. This allowed to reduce the vol­ume and inten­si­ty of snor­ing, as well as to avoid the occur­rence of sleep apnea. The implant inser­tion pro­ce­dure is per­formed under local anes­the­sia and lasts no more than 30 min­utes.


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