Snoring is a specific manifestation of a breathing disorder during sleep, accompanied by the appearance of a low-frequency sound. It is more often considered as an integral part of the sleep apnea syndrome.
Holding your breath while snoring is very dangerous for the body. Recent studies have shown that snoring can cause many chronic diseases and shorten life expectancy. People who snore during their sleep have a 46% increased risk of accidental death, regardless of age, weight or gender.
The mechanism of development of snoring
When breathing, an obstruction occurs in the path of air in the nasal cavity, nasopharynx or larynx. As a result of vibrations of the walls of the airways, a low-frequency noise appears – snoring. In addition to trouble for others, snoring is a danger to the health and even the life of its “owner”. In some cases, the lumen of the airways is blocked completely, which leads to a temporary cessation of breathing.
Episodes of insufficient oxygen supply lead to increased stress on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, disrupt brain activity. People who snore more often develop strokes, heart attacks, bronchitis, sexual dysfunction, daytime sleepiness, increased fatigue, loss of strength and energy.
The snoring progresses over time. The muscles of the nasopharynx are increasingly weakening, losing strength and undergoing dystrophy. Snoring, at the beginning accompanied by non-hazardous breath holdings of a few seconds, after ten years of “experience” causes already two-minute respiratory arrests.
Factors leading to the development of snoring:
- During a night’s sleep, the muscles of the nasopharynx and soft palate relax, and the lumen of the lower respiratory tract narrows.
- During sleep, a person assumes a position that contributes to the emergence of an obstacle to the passage of air, in the presence of anatomical features: curvature of the spine, short neck, and so on.
- Pathology of the ENT organs can lead to snoring: sinusitis, deviated septum, enlarged tonsils, chronic rhinitis, and so on.
- Snoring is promoted by long-term smoking, alcohol, drugs, and certain medications.
- Obese people are prone to snoring. So, experts have found that it is enough to reduce weight by only 10%, and sleep will return to normal.
Treatment and prevention of snoring
The main direction of snoring treatment is reduced to the correction of risk factors: weight loss, treatment of concomitant pathology of ENT organs, smoking cessation and reduction / refusal of alcohol. Avoid sleeping on your back with your head thrown back.
At the initial stages of development, drugs have a positive effect: amitriptyline and theophylline, which tonic the weakened muscles of the nasopharynx. With the further development of snoring, patients are forced to resort to the help of an auxiliary lung ventilation device with air during sleep.
There are also surgical methods for correcting snoring, which reduce the volume of the soft palate, which provides better patency of the upper respiratory tract.