Normally we associate the fact snoring men. But, sorry, friends, women also snore. Indeed, factors that predispose us to snoring is not sex, but factors such as craniofacial alterations, as having short or thick neck or jaw small or backward; Alterations of the upper airway of the respiratory apparatus, such as having a large tongue, tonsils or palate, and small mouth; and nasal problems or excess weight.
But what exactly is snoring? Snoring is a noise that occurs as a result of vibration movements at various levels of the upper airway, where the gorge is located. “These vibrations manifest different degrees of difficulty in the passage of air through these airways. The direct cause is the cyclical tendency to collapse of the upper airway (throat) during sleep, at a time when the diaphragm, with its inspiratory action, causes a suction pressure,” explains Dr. Eduard Esteller, president of the Commission of Snoring and Sleep disorders of the of Otorhinolaryngology (SEORL).
Excess weight, as we said, is another of the predisposing factors of snoring. In fact, “80% of patients with snoring are obese,” says Dr. Esteller. This occurs because, in obesity, there is “a reduction in the size of the upper airway, an increase of fat between the muscle fibers of the muscles responsible for maintaining the open approach and reduced reflexes responsible for getting this route Do not close, “explains the otorhinolaryngologist. The good news is that, according to this specialist, many people “can reduce the intensity of snoring and get the indicated treatments are more efficient to lose weight”.
On the other hand, if we want to prevent snoring, it is recommended to eliminate alcohol intake, without sedatives, hypnotics, anxiolytics and other depressants of the central nervous system, sleep at least eight hours daily and at regular times and try not to sleep Supine (lying on their back).
Beyond the annoying noise that alters both the sleep of snorer as his bed mate, the consequences of snoring may include the following symptoms: excessive sleepiness during the day, sleep disruption and decreases oxygenation overnight. All this can lead to alterations that diminish the level of health and the quality of life of those who snore.
Thus, “there is an increased risk of cardiovascular alterations such as hypertension, stroke or stroke; Neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, difficulty concentrating, decreased performance, behavioral disorders or irritability; As well as an increased risk of work, traffic and domestic accidents,” said Dr. Esteller. On the other hand, the specialist adds, “when snoring involves pauses in breathing may appear Syndrome Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).”
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The sleep apnea results in a picture of excessive sleepiness, cognitive-behavioral, respiratory, cardiac, metabolic or inflammatory disorders secondary. This disorder affects between 2 and 4% of men and between 1 and 2% of women.
It is important that, “in the presence of loud snoring and staccato that can be accompanied by daytime sleepiness and affect the quality of life of the person with tiredness, fatigue or lack of concentration, go to the consultation of an otolaryngologist to confirm a Diagnosis, “warns Dr. Esteller. The specialist will explore the upper airway, assess the possible excess weight, cardiovascular status and make a sleep log to confirm the presence or absence of the syndrome of obstructive sleep apnea.
In severe cases, the primary treatment for sleep apnea and / or snoring involves placing a device nocturnal nasal positive airway pressure applied to the nose or nose and mouth. “Although it is very effective, it has the disadvantage that between 20 and 30% of patients do not accepts or tolerate it,” laments Dr. Esteller. In these cases and in the less severe, surgery is used for upper airways, becoming less aggressive and more functional, or placement of mandibular advancement devices or splints. In addition, he adds, “systems are being developed to stimulate the hypoglossal nerve (cranial nerve that is especially responsible for coordinating the movements of the tongue) during sleep by placing a pacemaker that activates rhythmically during the night”.