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How to get rid of snoring?

How to get rid of snoring?

With age, almost everyone begins to snore and snore in a dream. However, for many, this problem occurs even in their youth and only intensifies over the years. Snorers are skewed 9:1 in favor of men, and one in ten suffers from sleep apnea. Difficulties with night breathing do not allow the snorer himself to get enough sleep because of repeated awakenings, as well as family members because of the loud, unnerving sound. As a result, in the morning everyone is in a bad mood, drowsiness, irritability over trifles. How to get rid of snoring, why is it important? Read the article.

How does snoring occur?

Snoring is not an independent disease. In the ICD, it ranks among the unspecified symptoms of abnormal breathing. Despite this formulation, the pathogenesis of snoring has been studied quite well.

In the waking state, when a person simply breathes and does not talk, the glottis is open for the free passage of air currents. At the same time, the tissues of the soft palate and vocal cords are in a state of tension. At the moment of phonation (extraction of sounds), the folds of the larynx vibrate, converting the exhaled air into a sound wave. The occurrence of snoring is characterized by a similar mechanism. The only difference is that during sleep, the glottis is noticeably narrowed, and the laryngeal-pharyngeal tissues are completely relaxed. Hanging freely, when they inhale, they are “sucked in” with air inside, and when exhaled, they begin to oscillate, initiating specific sounds.

The volume of the sound signal depends on the "power" of the head and chest resonators - the volume of the oropharynx, nasal sinuses, trachea, and lungs. In terms of frequency, the sound made by a snoring person is close to the upper limit of colloquial speech. However, the range may vary from person to person.

Snoring is affected by:

congenital features of the larynx, pharynx, sinuses or lower jaw;
acquired structural changes in the oropharynx, nasopharynx, neck;
breathing features - speed, volume, turbulence of inhaled and exhaled air;
body position during sleep;
age, body weight.

Snoring is included in the list of the main signs of sleep apnea syndrome - a sleep disorder associated with short-term pauses in breathing. The pathogenesis is due to obstruction (obstruction) of the air due to the displacement of the airways into the pharynx - pharyngeal collapse. It can be localized behind the soft palate, as well as at the level of the epiglottis. When the flow of air to the lungs stops, the level of oxygen in the blood drops, the concentration of carbon dioxide increases. In a state of hypoxia, the brain is forced to wake up in order to prevent suffocation and fatal outcome. OSAS - obstructive sleep apnea syndrome - does not occur in all snorers, but constant snoring often leads to the development of OSAS.

Stages and types of snoring

According to medical criteria, snoring can be:
  • Intermittent. It is characterized by periodic snoring that occurs due to temporary changes in breathing.
  • Permanent. A person snores steadily in his sleep every night or at least 3-4 times a week.

According to the severity of snoring is:

  • uncomplicated (simple or isolated) - without stopping night breathing;
  • complicated - associated with OSA.

The second type of abnormal breathing occurs in 96% of snoring patients.

Why do people snore?

The etiology of snoring and sleep apnea syndrome is influenced by:

  • natural triggers - not associated with abnormal changes in the upper respiratory tract;

  • anatomical factors - congenital or acquired structural features;
  • acquired dysfunctions or diseases.

Natural (non-pathological) causes

Uncomplicated intermittent snoring is provoked by disorders caused by:

  • taking sleeping pills ;
  • physical overload;
  • nicotine addiction;
  • overeating;
  • mental fatigue;
  • alcohol intoxication;
  • nasal congestion with viral infections or allergic rhinitis.

Non-pathological causes also include incorrect head position during sleep. People usually snore when they sleep on their backs with their heads thrown back. In this position, the root of the tongue is displaced. This creates additional resistance for the free passage of air flow. To stop snoring, it is enough to roll over on your side. If snoring does not stop in the lateral position, this indicates a complicated manifestation of OSA. When falling asleep on a too high or very hard pillow, the neck is crooked in relation to the body, which leads to squeezing of the larynx, poor air conduction. Replacing an uncomfortable pillow with an orthopedic analogue will help you find a restful sleep.

Anatomical factors

Structural changes that cause snoring include:

  • hypertrophy of the nasopharyngeal or palatine tonsils;
  • congenital / traumatic deformation of the bone or cartilage of the nasal septum;
  • congenital malformations of the trachea, larynx, pharynx, tongue, nasal sinuses, underdeveloped lower jaw;
  • tumor or cystic formations of the upper respiratory tract;
  • long by nature uvula (palatine uvula);
  • traumatic brain injury associated with displacement of the bones of the skull or damage to the pituitary gland.

A rare congenital cause of abnormal nocturnal breathing is a Thornwald cyst located in the midline of the nasopharyngeal mucosa.

Acquired pathologies

Snoring is influenced by:

  • Chronic diseases of the upper respiratory tract - adenoiditis, tonsillitis, frontal sinusitis, ethmoiditis, sphenoiditis, sinusitis. Chronic otolaryngological inflammation is complicated by the growth of the connective and lymphoid tissues of the tonsils (palatine, nasopharyngeal). With sinusitis, polyps often form in the nose, and the permanent use of vasoconstrictor nasal drops leads to mucosal atrophy.

  • Diseases of the endocrine system associated with weight gain - type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypothyroidism. They are accompanied by compression of the lumen of the larynx due to swelling of the visceral tissues and fat deposits in the neck. In such patients, as a rule, muscle reflexes, including those of the laryngeal muscles, are reduced, which, in combination with overweight, leads to impaired night breathing.

Patients with vascular pathologies often snore. When blood circulation is disturbed, pastosity of the tissues of the heart, face, and lower extremities occurs. A similar process occurs with the tissues of the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and constant swelling prevents the normal circulation of the air flow.

Gender reasons

In addition to the general causes of snoring, there are specific gender factors. In women, this is a change in hormonal status in the premenopausal period. During menopause, the functional ability of the ovaries decreases, the production of progesterone and estrogen, active participants in metabolic processes, decreases. Instead, estrone begins to be synthesized, stimulating the body to store fat. The result of a metabolic failure and a decrease in muscle tone is excess weight. In young women, a hormonal imbalance with all the ensuing consequences can provoke an incorrect intake of hormone-containing contraceptives .

The predisposition of men to snore is due to the gender peculiarity of the structure of the oropharynx - it is naturally narrower than in women. In addition, the male anomaly of night breathing is often associated with bad habits:

  • Nicotine addiction. Smoke constantly injures the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, toxins cause chronic swelling of the larynx-pharyngeal tissues.
  • Interest in alcohol. Ethanol relaxes the muscle tissue of the larynx, inhibits blood circulation and brain activity. In a state of intoxication, the respiratory function is disturbed.
  • Wrong eating behavior. Overeating, passion for fatty foods, sweets is the right way to gain weight.

The risk of developing OSA in men is twice as high as in women.

"Childish" reasons

The leading etiological trigger for snoring in children is the adenoids. This is the name of the vegetation of the part of the lymphoepithelial pharyngeal ring - the nasopharyngeal tonsils. Normally, the lymphoid tissue of the tonsils is an antimicrobial barrier that increases only during viral and bacterial attacks. After the pharyngeal ring returns to its normal state. Too frequent, severe, complicated acute respiratory viral infections trigger a hypertrophic process. During sleep, the overgrown tissue falls into the throat, narrowing the lumen for the passage of air.

In addition to adenoids, children are “forced” to snore:

  • allergic rhinitis if not treated with antihistamine sprays or drops;
  • chronic diseases of the ENT organs - tonsillitis, sinusitis;
  • endocrine diseases - obesity, thymomegaly (thymus hyperplasia);
  • laryngeal-pharyngeal myasthenia - weakness of the muscles.
Chronic snoring in children can develop into OSA.

Age factors

As the body ages, the tone of not only the muscles of the body decreases, but also the muscles of the soft palate, vocal cords, and tongue. In addition, over the years, the functionality of the respiratory system decreases, chronic diseases, bad habits, and excess weight appear. Age-related changes in combination with acquired disorders lead to the development of night breathing anomalies.