Although snoring alone does not mean illness, it is a problem that usually affects couples' lives, especially when the snoring is so strong that it prevents the restful sleep of the other person.. There are many adults who suffer from this respiratory problem, although there are various treatments and even surgeries that solve it.
Snoring and sleep apnea
Snoring is the noise produced by the vibration of the mucous structures of the upper airways during sleep. Although practically all people who have an apnea syndrome during sleep are snorers, most snorers do not have this syndrome.
Causes of snoring
Snoring is usually due to an obstructive phenomenon at the level of the nose, throat or neck. Among them we must emphasize by their frequency the presence of enlarged tonsils and / or adenoids, a lingual position of posterior implantation or an increase in size of the tongue and nasal obstructive problems (deviation of the nasal septum, large nasal turbinates , nasal polyps, rhinitis, etc.).
However, we must know that overweight is the most important cause of snoring and that excessive relaxation of the pharyngeal and lingual muscles, often due to the use of sleeping pills or even alcohol intake, increase the obstruction of the respiratory tract tall. Therefore, a thorough exploration of the airway is important in the evaluation of these patients.
Problems associated with snoring
Snoring by itself does not mean illness , although it can lead to problems of a couple when its intensity is so high that it prevents the couple from falling asleep. However, when snoring accompanies a sleep apnea syndrome it can lead to physical problems in the form of headache, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory pathology or even problems in sexual activity.
On the other hand, it can also be cause of psychic problems with difficulty of concentration, excess of sleep, irritability and sensation of cephalic dullness.
Treatments for snoring
In the first place, it is essential to control the weight and avoid the aggravating factors of the obstruction, such as anxiolytics, alcohol, copious dinners, etc.. On the other hand there are multiple treatments aimed at the obstructive cause that originates the problem.
Among these are various systems to improve nasal ventilation , from nasal strips and nasal dilators to different techniques of nasal surgery, as well as oral lingual overtaking splints and surgical techniques to act at the level of the tonsils and / or adenoids, the palate and the uvula, tongue and jaw.
Finally, there are treatments aimed at improving the oxygenation of blood and combat sleep apnea , which consist of devices that send air under pressure in the respiratory route, such as CPAP.
The snoring surgery
Surgical treatment is indicated when an obstructive cause is found that can be resolved by anatomical change. This may involve a reduction or removal of tonsils and adenoids, a correction of the nasal septum (septoplasty), a reduction of the nasal turbinates (usually by radiofrequency), a remodeling of the palate and uvula (uvulo-palato-pharyngoplasty), or even Sometimes a reduction and lingual anteversion.
Nasal surgery is very effective in resolving nasal obstructive factors although it is not usually enough to solve a sleep apnea syndrome. However, through relatively non-aggressive techniques, such as turbinates reduction and septoplasty, nasal ventilation is improved. In people with a sleep apnea syndrome, this good nasal breathing is necessary so that the treatment with the mask of the CPAP is really effective and produces the minimum possible discomfort.
In any case, a good preliminary study is necessary to make a correct selection of patients candidates for these interventions, since obstructions at multiple levels in the same patient are frequent and a single intervention may not be effective enough.