Snoring and Sleep Apnea

What is snoring?

Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft tissues in the throat and nasal region, which are loosened during sleep, by the air flow generated by respiration. As sleep deepens, the muscles of the soft palate, tongue, and larynx relax, narrowing the airway. As the airway narrows, the effort for breathing increases. As a result, tissue vibration increases and snoring becomes louder. Loud and frequent snoring can cause health problems, as well as create problems in one’s relationships with one’s partner and environment. One-third of adults snore. Snoring is not just a noisy form of sleep that causes social discomfort, it is considered a symptom of a serious illness when accompanied by shortness of breath during sleep. This disease is called sleep apnea and must be taken seriously. At least half of the people who snore can have this pause called apnea.

What causes snoring?

In most patients, snoring occurs as a result of narrowing and obstruction in the soft palate, uvula and tonsils, or in the pharynx and tongue root, or in the nasal and nasal cavity. Various combinations of problems in these areas are possible. Structural problems of some facial and jaw bones and neurologic problems may also occur. In addition, in acute diseases such as colds and flu, temporary snoring may occur, as nasal congestion (congestion) will occur during the disease.

What causes snoring in children?

If there is snoring in children, it is usually related to the adenoids and tonsils. As a result of the overgrowth of these tissues, sleep apnea can also be seen in children. If there is sleep apnea in children, it must be treated without delay. Untreated children may have long-term abnormalities in oral-facial development.

What is the relationship between weight and snoring?

Being overweight causes tissue increase in the throat area, causing narrowing. In addition, the intra-abdominal fat mass compresses the lungs from below and the neck tissues thicken, thereby narrowing the air outlet. People with sleep apnea are almost always overweight.

How does alcohol cause snoring?

Snoring may be due to excessive alcohol consumption before sleep. Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles with its calming effect. Likewise, sedative drugs can cause snoring by similar mechanisms.

What is sleep apnea?

Sometimes snoring can be accompanied by sleep apnea. In this severe condition, the airway is completely closed and breathing stops completely. In sleep apnea, severe snoring is followed by 10 seconds or more of silence. Decreased blood oxygen and increasing carbon dioxide “wake up!” They give the signal and a loud snoring occurs with a strong breath. While sleep apnea can simply cause daytime sleepiness, it can even lead to diabetes, hypertension and heart failure if left untreated. It can cause attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder in children.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

Patients whose spouses describe apnea should definitely undergo an ENT examination. Those with signs of severe apnea are sent to sleep laboratories. In these laboratories, which are prepared like a hotel room, the patient is asked to stay overnight, and the number of apneas and some other important measures are determined by examining his sleep until the morning. The diagnosis is finalized as a result of this research. In addition, thanks to advanced endoscopic imaging techniques, narrowed areas can be easily examined and an approach to treatment can be planned.

How is snoring treated?

In the treatment of snoring, if there is no apnea or if the apnea number is low, obstructions or obstructions in the nasal congestion, soft palate, uvula and tongue root can be corrected with different techniques. For the reason, soft palate reduction, reduction of the nasal concha, correction if there is curvature, and removal of the uvula can be performed.

What are the innovations in its treatment?

It has become increasingly common to use radiofrequency waves for soft palate and uvula reduction procedures, which were previously performed with laser. Here, after the soft palate is numbed with local anesthesia, radiofrequency is applied into the soft palate with a needle-like entrance, and thus it is aimed to tighten the soft palate and shrink the uvula. Depending on the severity of the disease, approximately 2-3 sessions may be required. It is usually applied in a time not exceeding 10 minutes and is often considered a simple operation without pain and bleeding. If the patient has root of tongue or intranasal causes, general anesthesia should be preferred.

How to heal sleep apnea?

If the apnea number of the snoring patient is above a certain level, it is not possible for these patients to benefit from simple techniques. The treatment of patients in this condition is given in sleep clinics and is made by ensuring that patients sleep by wearing masks called CPAP. These masks are vehicles that give continuous, positive pressure oxygen to the patient during sleep. In the beginning, most patients do not want to use this tool, but after a while, they use it easily because they see its benefits very clearly over time. In addition, breathing can be facilitated by providing mouth and nose opening with mouth prostheses and nasal opening bands.

What are the ways to avoid simple snoring?
– Cessation of alcohol and smoking
– Paying attention to weight
– Dissolving the fat tissue around the belly button
– Doing sports
–Management of stress
-Eating a small amount of dinner and at least 3 hours before bedtime
– Lying on its side
Paying attention to bed and pillow habits
– Taking sleeping pills and tranquilizers is considered negative
– If any, lung, stomach and bowel problems should be corrected

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