Snoring, apnea and other sleep disorders

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Snor­ing is a prob­lem not for the patient, but for oth­ers. How­ev­er, snor­ing can be a symp­tom of a seri­ous ill­ness. What are the caus­es of snor­ing and how to get rid of it?

General information about snoring

General information about snoring

Snor­ing is a sound phe­nom­e­non dur­ing sleep caused by the vibra­tion of the soft tis­sues of the upper res­pi­ra­to­ry tract in con­di­tions of lim­it­ed inspi­ra­to­ry flow. In most cas­es, it occurs dur­ing the inhala­tion phase, although it can also occur dur­ing exha­la­tion. Regard­less of when snor­ing occurs, it is caused by the open­ing and clos­ing (you might call it flut­ter) of upper air­way struc­tures, includ­ing the soft palate and the root of the tongue. Also, snor­ing is pro­mot­ed by mucous secre­tions due to chron­ic inflam­ma­tion.

Accord­ing to mod­ern con­cepts, snor­ing is divid­ed into two types: habit­u­al and iso­lat­ed. Habit­u­al is most often com­bined with obstruc­tive sleep apnea in com­bi­na­tion with com­plaints of day­time sleepi­ness, fatigue. In the event that a polysomnog­ra­phy was per­formed and no oth­er res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­or­der was found, such snor­ing is called iso­lat­ed. Also, iso­lat­ed snor­ing is not asso­ci­at­ed with meta­bol­ic syn­drome and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

What is apnea?

The word “apnea” is trans­lat­ed from Greek as “no breath”. Sleep apnea is a stop­page of breath­ing dur­ing sleep that lasts for a few sec­onds. There are three types of this dis­or­der: cen­tral, obstruc­tive and mixed. Obstruc­tive sleep apnea is a pathol­o­gy char­ac­ter­ized by repeat­ed episodes of ces­sa­tion or reduc­tion of air­flow dur­ing sleep due to obstruc­tion (i.e. over­lap) of the upper air­ways, accom­pa­nied by a decrease in blood oxy­gen sat­u­ra­tion.

Cen­tral sleep apnea, unlike obstruc­tive sleep apnea, is not accom­pa­nied by air­way block­age. With this pathol­o­gy, there are no ven­ti­la­tion impuls­es gen­er­at­ed by the res­pi­ra­to­ry cen­ter of the brain.

Apnea symp­toms are as fol­lows:

    constant snoring at night;
    pauses in breathing during sleep;
    feeling of suffocation at night;
    daytime sleepiness;
    increased motor activity during sleep;
    morning headache;
    constant fatigue;
    impaired concentration.

Diagnosis of respiratory disorders

The main diag­nos­tic task is to dis­tin­guish between iso­lat­ed snor­ing and snor­ing, which is com­bined with paus­es in breath­ing dur­ing sleep. The objec­tive assess­ment in this study is the mea­sure­ment of snor­ing (graph­ic, quan­ti­ta­tive), which is based on the use of spe­cial devices (dur­ing res­pi­ra­to­ry mon­i­tor­ing or polysomnog­ra­phy in the sleep lab­o­ra­to­ry).

The choice of diag­nos­tic method depends on the clin­i­cal pic­ture of the dis­ease. Polysomnog­ra­phy is a rather expen­sive method. Its use will be jus­ti­fied if there are indi­ca­tions of res­pi­ra­to­ry arrest, com­plaints of day­time sleepi­ness, fatigue, insom­nia. And also, if the patient has con­comi­tant dis­eases, such as meta­bol­ic syn­drome, arte­r­i­al hyper­ten­sion and heart rhythm dis­tur­bances.

In addi­tion to the above exam­i­na­tions, in the diag­no­sis of res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­or­ders, the fol­low­ing are used: car­diores­pi­ra­to­ry test, EEG (elec­troen­cephalo­gram), ECG (elec­tro­car­dio­gram), mea­sure­ment of the flow of inhaled and exhaled air.

Causes of snoring and sleep apnea

Causes of snoring and sleep apnea

The caus­es of snor­ing and sleep apnea are var­ied. Pre­dis­pos­ing fac­tors are: male gen­der, over­weight, old­er age, large ton­sils or tongue, gas­troe­sophageal reflux (or GERD), snor­ing and sleep apnea in rel­a­tives. The caus­es of snor­ing also include defor­mi­ty of the nasal sep­tum, chron­ic rhini­tis, sinusi­tis, ede­ma caused by an infec­tion of the res­pi­ra­to­ry tract, and the appear­ance of polyps in the nose.

Treatment and prevention of snoring and sleep apnea

Treat­ing snor­ing is quite dif­fi­cult. Cur­rent­ly, there are many dif­fer­ent snor­ing reme­dies avail­able with­out a pre­scrip­tion, but almost all of them have lim­it­ed effec­tive­ness. Usu­al­ly these are nasal dila­tors, var­i­ous mois­tur­iz­ers for the mucous mem­brane of the nose and throat, nutri­tion­al sup­ple­ments, spe­cial pil­lows. More reli­able treat­ments for snor­ing include lifestyle mod­i­fi­ca­tion, mouth­pieces, nasal sep­tum surgery, and non-inva­sive mechan­i­cal sleep ven­ti­la­tion (CPAP).

Lifestyle mod­i­fi­ca­tion, first of all, is weight loss, refusal to drink alco­hol, smok­ing ces­sa­tion. Oral devices can also be used to treat snor­ing in the pres­ence of a healthy bite. Sur­gi­cal treat­ment of snor­ing can be per­formed in its iso­lat­ed form, but only in cas­es where an anatom­i­cal sub­strate is iden­ti­fied that con­tributes to the devel­op­ment of snor­ing.

Con­tin­u­ous pos­i­tive upper air­way pres­sure (CPAP) ther­a­py is com­mon­ly used to treat patients with sleep apnea. But it is also known that CPAP ther­a­py suc­cess­ful­ly fights snor­ing. The device is a portable com­pres­sor that, under con­stant pos­i­tive pres­sure, deliv­ers air into the patien­t’s air­ways, there­by pre­vent­ing upper air­way obstruc­tion dur­ing sleep. A mask is attached to the breath­ing cir­cuit (there are var­i­ous mod­i­fi­ca­tions, includ­ing mouth, nasal and nasal masks), through which air is sup­plied. To achieve a clin­i­cal effect, it is rec­om­mend­ed to use ther­a­py for at least 5 hours dur­ing sleep for at least 70 nights.

The most com­mon side effects of CPAP ther­a­py are local irri­ta­tion of the skin under the mask, dry­ness of the nasal and pha­ryn­geal mucosa, nasal con­ges­tion or dis­charge from it, con­junc­tivi­tis. How­ev­er, these vio­la­tions may be asso­ci­at­ed with the incor­rect use of masks or the wrong choice of the device oper­a­tion mode.

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ai generated, girl, asleep
boy, dream, night
clouds, background, drawing
ai generated, woman, flowers

Speak­ing about the pre­ven­tion of res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­or­ders, again I would like to note the impor­tance of a healthy lifestyle. Or rather, the nor­mal­iza­tion of body weight, the ces­sa­tion of alco­hol and smok­ing ces­sa­tion. Patients with posi­tion-depen­dent vari­ants of apnea and snor­ing should avoid posi­tions dur­ing sleep (usu­al­ly on the back) that cause sleep apnea.

By Yraa

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