What Is Snoring?

Snoring is a condition when someone makes a rough noise when sleeping. This condition is the impact of obstructed or narrowed respiratory tract. Snoring can be experienced by everyone, and there is usually no need to worry. However, this condition can also be a sign of other health problems, including sleep apnea . It is recommended to see a doctor if you often snore and are accompanied by:
  • Woke up due to choking or panting.
  • The head or throat hurts every time you wake up.
  • Feel very sleepy during the day, making it difficult to concentrate.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Restless.
  • Pain in the chest appears.

Causes of Snoring
Snoring is the effect of being blocked or narrowed by the respiratory tract. This narrowing will cause vibration in the respiratory tract when breathing, which then causes snoring sounds. The more obstructed the respiratory tract, the harder the sound of snoring.

The obstruction of the respiratory tract can be caused by a weakening of the throat muscles, generally due to aging. In addition, it can also be caused by a medical condition, such as:
  • Sleep apnea .
  • Nasal or airway congestion, due to allergies or sinusitis.
  • The nose bone is bent.
  • Swelling of the tonsils or adenoid glands.
  • Mumps.
  • Facial deformities.
  • Overweight. People with excess weight tend to have thick throat tissue, which blocks the respiratory tract.
The habit of consuming alcohol or sleeping pills can also cause snoring, because it makes the muscles in the tongue and throat become weak.

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Diagnosis of Snoring
Generally a person does not realize that he snores, until told by a couple who sleeps one bed or family one house with him. Snoring can be a sign of a health problem, especially if accompanied by:
  • It's hard to wake up in the morning.
  • Feel sleep deprived.
  • Sleepy during the day.
  • Fall asleep during activities, for example during meetings or even when driving.
Breath stops, gasps, or legs often jerk during sleep can also be a sign of a health problem.

If you feel the complaints above, you should consult a doctor, and don't forget to invite people who often hear you snore so that doctors can get more detailed information.

In the diagnosis process, the first step that the doctor takes is to ask in detail the symptoms and diseases that the patient had previously suffered. The doctor will also ask questions regarding sleep patterns, cleanliness of the bed, the number of times the patient wakes up at night, drowsiness that appears during the day, to the length of the nap.

Then the doctor will measure the patient's body mass index to see if the patient's weight is ideal. The doctor will also run a test called polysomnography, to see if snoring interferes with the patient's sleep quality and is a sign of a health problem.

In a polysomnographic examination, the doctor will observe the condition of the patient while sleeping. Special sensor devices will be attached to the patient's body, to record brain waves, heart rate, and movement of the patient's eyeballs during sleep, for later analysis.

After that, the doctor can also do a scan examination with X-rays, CT scans, or MRI. This test will display the condition of the patient's respiratory tract, so the doctor can see what causes the patient to snore.

Treatment of Snoring
How to remove snoring will be adjusted to the cause. For example, if snoring or snoring is caused by allergies, the treatment is with allergy medications.

The first step that is generally recommended by doctors to deal with snoring is to change lifestyle. Some things need to be done, namely:
  • Reducing weight.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption, especially before going to bed.
  • Stop smoking .
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Get used to not eating heavy foods when going to sleep.
  • Sleep sideways.
Further treatment aims to overcome the causes of snoring, both by surgery and non-surgical methods.

Nonoperative methods are performed when snoring is caused by narrowing of the respiratory tract during sleep ( sleep apnea ), while the method of surgery is performed if the cause is an abnormality in the respiratory tract, such as a bent nose bone, tonsillitis, or enlargement of the adenoid gland.

Some nonoperative handling, namely:
  • Use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine
    The mask of the CPAP machine will be attached to the patient's mouth and nose before going to bed. This machine functions to drain air which can keep the respiratory tract open, so that patients can breathe better while sleeping.
  • Giving drops or nasal spray
    These drugs are given to treat inflammation caused by allergies .
  • Installation of special tools in the mouth
    Performed on the advice and supervision of the dentist. This tool serves to hold the jaw, tongue, and lower mouth more advanced, so that the respiratory tract remains open.
As for handling snoring with surgery, patients can ask the doctor first about the benefits and risks that exist. The doctor will also explain what needs to be prepared before surgery.

Several types of surgeries to treat the cause of snoring, namely:
  • Tonsillectomy, performed when snoring is caused by a disturbance in the tonsils (tonsils). This operation aims to cut and remove tonsils.
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), to tighten the throat and palate. This procedure is used to treat sleep apnea .
  • Laser-assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP), which is the action of a laser beam to correct airway obstruction.
  • Somnoplasty , to shrink excess tissue on the tongue or ceiling, using radio wave energy.

Prevention of Snoring
There are several ways you can prevent and reduce snoring, namely:
  • Reduce weight if you have excess weight.
  • Sleep on your side.
  • Sleep with your head slightly higher.
  • Do not consume alcohol, especially before going to bed.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke.
  • Get enough sleep.
Ribbons or special nose props that facilitate breathing can also be used to reduce the risk of snoring. However, consult in advance how to use and risk this tool, to the doctor.

Snoring complications
Snoring or snoring often disturbs others. Although common, snoring can have a serious impact, especially if caused by sleep apnea .

Some of the complications include:
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
  • Severe depression that triggers mental disorders.
  • Decreased sexual satisfaction.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Often angry and frustrated.
Snoring which decreases the quality of sleep can also make a person feel sleepy while on the move. This drowsiness will increase the risk of accidents, both when working and driving.

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