Why Do We Snore?

Snoring is a vibration produced by air flow that passes through partially blocked airways. The sound produced from this vibration can sound smooth or loud (hoarse) that disturbs.

Snoring is usually experienced by adults and is an early symptom of sleep apnea due to obstruction or other serious health problems. In addition to reduced sleep, snoring is one of the causes of daytime drowsiness, decreased focus, and reduced libido.

One cause of snoring is a habit or lifestyle
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Snoring Causes.

Why Do We Snore? Large snoring sounds are produced due to the obstruction of air that passes through the structure of the respiratory tract while sleeping. But in general, snoring occurs when the soft tissue in the palate (soft palate), the child is phlegm (uvula), and the throat relaxes when we enter deeper sleep (sleep) after sleeping for about 90 minutes. Other parts that also experience vibration are the nasal passages, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils. Muscles and tissues that are in relaxed conditions that cause disruption or obstruction of the flow of air that passes so that vibration or snoring occurs.

The narrower the air flow, the more difficult it is for air to pass through the respiratory tract. This condition causes an increase in the strength of the air flow which produces a stronger vibration or snoring sound as well. There are several factors that affect the disruption of snoring-causing air flow, namely:

  1. Lack of sleep
  2. The supine sleeping position causes the throat to narrow and the tongue drops down so that it blocks the flow of air.
  3. Oral anatomy, for example having a ceiling that is too low, the position of the jaw is wrong due to tense muscles, and the throat that closes when sleeping.
  4. Nasal disturbances, such as severe blockages or twisted nostrils
  5. Partially blocked airways, for example due to colds or allergies that cause enlarged tonsils.
  6. Consumption of alcoholic beverages or drugs that make the throat muscles relax
  7. Being overweight (obesity) causes the amount of fat tissue around the throat.
  8. Sleep apnea obstruction, which is when the tissue in the throat obstructs part or all of the air flow so that it disrupts breathing.
  9. Men experience snoring more often than women.
  10. Have a family member who snores or has obstructive sleep apnea.

Snoring symptoms.

Although most snorers are associated with obstructive sleep apnea, this does not mean that all people with snoring also have obstructive sleep apnea, unless they have the following symptoms.
  1. Make a sound when you sleep.
  2. Restless when sleeping.
  3. Choking while sleeping.
  4. Waking from sleep due to choking.
  5. Chest pain at night.
  6. Loud snoring and disturbing people around the patient is followed by a period of silence when breathing stops or almost stops at least five times during the sleep period.
  7. Waking up from choking or stuttering.
  8. Headache in the morning.
  9. Daytime drowsiness is excessive.
  10. Difficulty concentrating.
  11. Sore throat.
  12. High blood pressure.
Some medical personnel use the level of snoring to determine the severity of snoring. There are three levels of snoring, namely:

Level 1

When the snoring frequency is not frequent and the sound produced is not loud. Breathing will not be affected and there are no signs of snoring-related health problems.

Level 2

When the snoring frequency is routine, for three days or longer in a week and the sufferer experiences mild to moderate disturbance during sleep. This condition will affect sleep quality, cause fatigue, and sleepiness during the day.

Level 3

When the patient snores loudly every night until he or she is heard out of bed. Most of the patients at this stage have obstructive sleep apnea and have an impact on their daily activities.

Snoring Diagnosis.

Patients with snoring are likely to be referred to a specialist to get a definitive diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Invite someone who knows your habits during sleep so you can describe the symptoms more thoroughly. Find out the health history and also what medicines have been consumed. The doctor will ask about these things in addition to evaluating the symptoms that are felt, and doing a physical examination.

Supporting examinations, such as CT scans, X-rays, and MRIs, can also be done to check the structure that influences airflow disturbances.

Examination of the pattern and sleep habits of patients can provide other information needed by the doctor, such as in a polysomnographic procedure that will observe brain waves when patients sleep. Polysomnography will also analyze levels of heart rate and breathing, stages of sleep, as well as eye and foot movements.

Snoring Treatment.

Lifestyle changes are the first action that will be recommended to deal with snoring, for example by losing weight to normal, and maintaining adequate sleep. Snoring sufferers should also avoid consuming alcoholic beverages, especially before bedtime, and provide treatment for nasal blockages and advise patients not to sleep on their backs.

For snoring caused by obstructive sleep apnea, doctors can suggest a number of steps that will be adjusted to the condition of the snoring, namely:

The use of CPAP machines (continuous positive airway pressure) by putting a pressurized mask connected to a small air pump above the nose when the patient sleeps. This tool will keep the respiratory tract open.

The use of specially made tools to fit the patient's mouth to keep the jaw, tongue and palate open. The installation of this tool will require regular visits to dental specialists to ensure that conditions continue to be monitored until they improve. Side effects of this tool are increased saliva, dry mouth and jaw pain.

Traditional surgical procedure called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). Tightening procedure and removal of excess tissue from the throat to widen air flow and reduce snoring. The risks of side effects of this procedure include infection, bleeding, pain and blockage in the nose.

Laser surgery or LUPPP, which uses the help of laser light to perform UPPP procedures for snoring patients. This procedure can be done many times to control snoring.

Somnoplasty or tissue ablation using radio frequency to shrink tissue in the palate and reduce snoring.

The procedure of installing an artificial oral cavity made of soft polyester into the palate tissue to make it more rigid and reduce snoring. Discuss with your doctor before undergoing this procedure because the level of security is still under study.

Alternative therapies such as homeopathy or nasal sprays are some alternative steps that are also available for people with snoring, but their effectiveness still needs to be investigated. You can discuss a number of other alternatives with your doctor before doing so. Here are some therapies that can help reduce snoring:

  1. Doing certain singing exercises every day for three months can help improve the strength of the palate and upper throat.
  2. Playing a particular instrument for 25 minutes a day can train the upper respiratory muscles and reduce daytime drowsiness.

Snoring Complications.

Snoring can greatly affect the life of the patient, as well as to the spouse or people around him. In addition to being disturbed and reduced sleep, several risks of snoring complications that may develop are:

  1. Excessive drowsiness during the day and difficulty concentrating.
  2. Having frustration or anger is more frequent.
  3. High blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
  4. Increased risk of having a traffic accident or while operating heavy equipment, due to lack of sleep.
  5. Behavioral disorders in children with obstructive sleep apnea, such as aggression and learning disorders.

Snoring Prevention.

One cause of snoring is a habit or lifestyle, such as consuming alcoholic beverages, especially before going to bed, smoking, and staying up late which results in reduced sleep. Prevent snoring with the following steps:
  1. Don't sleep on your back.
  2. Try sleeping by raising the head of your bed by 10 cm.
  3. Try to get an ideal sleep time of 7-8 hours every night. Bedtime can vary in children and adolescents, which ranges from 10-12 hours.
  4. Do not take tranquilizers and alcoholic beverages before bedtime because they can suppress the central nervous system, causing the throat muscles to relax too much, and block air flow.
  5. Quit smoking.
  6. Exercise regularly to help strengthen neck muscles and prevent airway constriction.
  7. If there is a nasal blockage, try taking medication or using a decongestant spray according to the instructions and not more than three days except with a doctor's prescription. Steroid sprays to treat severe blockages can be obtained by a doctor's prescription.
  8. Use special pillows that hold the head and neck when sleeping so that the air flow is not blocked.
  9. Snoring sufferers can suggest or give a partner or person around him a pair of nose plugs, put on music or a soothing background sound. As a tip, try turning on the fan to cover the snoring sound.

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