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?
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;
an increase in the size of the tonsils;
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.
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.