Snoring is very common: 30 out of 100 adults snore at night. Almost every family has at least one snorer, which turns this problem from personal to social. A person who “noisily” sleeps causes considerable discomfort to all his family members, but at the same time he himself suffers, as sometimes snoring causes breathing problems during sleep.
Causes of snoring
Normally, the walls of the pharynx, even during sleep, are in good shape, and the air, as if through a tube, freely moves back and forth through the respiratory tract. In snorers, the muscles of the airways lose their tone, which causes the soft tissues to sag, and when the air passes through, they collapse and beat against each other, causing vibration and the sound characteristic of snoring.
There are many reasons for snoring:
- alcohol abuse;
- infectious and allergic diseases of the nasopharynx and oropharynx;
- congenital narrowness of the nasal passages or oropharynx;
- insufficiency of thyroid function.
Snoring can occur not only in adult men and women, but also in children. In young patients, the most common cause of snoring is:
- anomalies in the structure of the respiratory tract;
- enlarged adenoids or pharyngeal tonsils;
- allergic rhinitis, etc.
Complicated and uncomplicated snoring
Clinical studies have established that even “simple” uncomplicated snoring leads to a decrease in intellectual abilities. Sometimes it is a symptom of a much more serious condition – obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).
Distinguishing OSAS from “simple” snoring is quite simple: if a snorer stops breathing from time to time during sleep, and these pauses last for 10 seconds or more, the diagnosis of sleep apnea is very likely . In this case, the walls of the airways do not just narrow, but periodically completely block the flow of air going to the lungs.
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome leads to a gross disruption of the normal structure of sleep . At the same time, the sleeping brain experiences oxygen starvation, which leads to a decrease in attention, intelligence, and memory in the daytime. A person feels tired, overwhelmed, depressed during the day, he may have bouts of severe daytime sleepiness. And that’s not all the problems! With OSAS, blood pressure very often rises during sleep, the risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, and even sudden cardiac death increases significantly.
That is why the danger of this violation should not be underestimated. Timely establishment of the exact cause of snoring and its treatment will help to avoid serious complications.
Watch a short video that clearly shows the mechanism of snoring and sleep apnea and the danger that this disease poses to a person.
Ways to treat snoring
Many patients, faced with this problem, are at a loss: which doctor treats snoring? Who to turn to for help?
Snoring is treated by somnologists. Their competence is the diagnosis of snoring and its complications, determining the severity of the disease, selecting the right treatment.
Currently, snoring is treated in the following ways:
- correction of the lifestyle of patients;
- drug therapy;
- laser snoring treatment (surgical method);
- CPAP therapy (treatment with the help of special devices for ventilation of the lungs);
- the use of traditional medicine (auxiliary method).
Snoring and lifestyle
In people, even with the initial forms of obesity, the incidence of
snoring and its complications increases several times compared to people with
normal weight. There is also an inverse relationship: with a decrease in
weight by 5-7%, uncomplicated snoring often disappears on its own. If a
person is diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, a 10% weight loss results in
a 50% improvement in respiratory function. Thus, the first recommendation on
how to treat snoring is already known to you: if you are overweight, lose
In addition, in order to reduce or get rid of snoring, several conditions must be observed:
- Sleep with your head elevated (but not on a high pillow!). To do this, under the legs of the bed at the head it is worth making a stand 10 cm high.
- Refuse to take sleeping pills if this is not possible.
- Refuse to take alcohol.
- Quit smoking.
- Daily exercise for the muscles of the pharynx and tongue.
Drug therapy for snoring
If uncomplicated snoring is triggered by an acute or chronic respiratory tract infection, mometasone nasal drops may be the drug of choice. This local hormonal agent has a pronounced anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous effect. Mometasone does not cause systemic reactions, therefore even children over 2 years of age are allowed to take it. Another indication for the use of mometasone ( Nasonex , Nasonex ) is snoring against the background of allergic rhinitis.
In many patients, drugs for the treatment of snoring of plant origin can be used: Snorstop ( SnoreStop ), Silence ( Silence ), Doctor Hrap ( Doctor sleep ex ) and others. The mechanism of their action is due to the softening effect of the essential oils that make up their composition. These drugs can reduce symptoms such as hoarseness, dry mouth, and excessive discharge in the throat, but do not affect the strength and duration of snoring.
Intraoral anti -snoring devices
In addition to lifestyle changes and the use of medications, so-called intraoral devices can help in solving the problem of uncomplicated snoring.
Surgical treatment of snoring
Today you can find advertisements reporting almost 100% cure for snoring by surgery. At the same time, the price of treatment seems quite acceptable to many, and patients readily go under the surgeon’s knife.
Unfortunately, the reality is far from these figures. With uncomplicated snoring, the chance of cure by surgery is 80%, and in the presence of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), this treatment method is not indicated, since its effectiveness is 50% for mild disease and less than 20% for moderate and severe.
Currently, such methods of snoring treatment as laser and radio wave are used in surgery. The laser allows you to almost bloodlessly eliminate excess soft tissues in the pharynx by artificially damaging them and further scarring. The cost of laser snoring treatment in Moscow clinics ranges from 15 to 35 thousand rubles.
Laser treatment for snoring must be carried out according to indications to be effective. It is necessary to make a decision on surgical treatment only after a detailed examination of the patient during sleep. If it turns out that the level of obstruction (blockage) of the airways is below the oropharyngeal region, surgical treatment will be ineffective.
In obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, obstruction is most often detected at several levels of the airways at once, which explains the low efficiency of the operation in patients with OSA.