Snoring is the vibration generated by the airflow passing through the partially blocked airways. The sound generated from this vibration can be loud or violent (hoarse) disturbing.
Snoring is commonly experienced by adults and is an early symptom of sleep apnea disease due to obstruction or other serious health disorders. In addition to the reduced sleep time, snoring becomes one of the causes of daytime drowsiness, decreased focus, and reduced libido.
The Cause of Snoring
A large snoring sound is generated by obstructed air passing through the respiratory tract structures during sleep. But in general, snoring occurs when soft tissue in the palate (soft palate), child’s pile (uvula), and throat to relax when we enter deeper sleep (sleep) after sleep for about 90 minutes. Other parts that also experience vibration are the nasal passages, tongue base, and tonsils. Muscles and tissues that are in this relaxed condition that causes disturbed or obstructed flow of air passing so that there is vibration or snoring.
The more narrow the air flow, the more difficult it is also the air passes through the respiratory tract. This condition causes an increase in the strength of the airflow resulting in a stronger vibration or snoring sound as well. There are several factors that affect the disruption of air flow causes snoring, namely:
Lack of sleep
- The supine sleeping position causes the throat to narrow and the tongue descends downward, blocking airflow.
- Anatomy of the mouth, for example, has a ceiling that is too low, the position of the jaw is wrong due to muscle tension, and a throat that closes when sleeping.
- Nasal disruption, eg severe blockage or perforated nostril splints
- Partially blocked airways, eg due to colds or allergies that cause tonsils to enlarge.
- Consumption of alcoholic beverages or drugs that make the throat muscles relax
- Overweight (obesity) which causes the amount of fatty tissue around the throat.
- Apnea sleeping obstruction, ie when the existing tissue in the throat blocking some or all of the air flow thus interfere with breathing.
- Men are more likely to experience snoring than women.
- Have a family member who snores or suffers from sleep apnea obstruction.
Lifestyle changes are the first action that will be recommended to handle snoring, for example by losing weight to normal limits, and maintaining adequate sleep time. Snoring patients should also avoid the consumption of alcoholic drinks, especially before bedtime, and provide treatment for nasal congestion and advise patients not to sleep on their backs.
For snoring caused by sleep apnea obstruction, the doctor may suggest several handling measures that will be adapted to the condition of snoring sufferers, namely:
- The use of CPAP engines (continuous positive airway pressure) by placing a pressurized mask connected to a small air pump over the nose when the patient sleeps. This tool will keep the respiratory tract open.
- Use of a specially made device to fit the patient’s mouth to keep the jaw, tongue, and palate fixed. Installation of this tool will require regular visits to a dental specialist to ensure conditions continue to be monitored until improving. Side effects of this tool are increased saliva, dry mouth, and jaw pain.
- The traditional surgical procedure is called uvulopalatofaringoplasti (UPPP). The procedure of tightening and removal of excess tissue from the throat to dilate air flow and reduce snoring. Risk of side effects of this procedure include infection, bleeding, pain and nasal blockage.
- Laser or LUPPP surgery, which uses laser light to perform UPPP procedures in snoring patients. This procedure can be done many times to control snoring.
- Somnoplasty or tissue ablation by using radio frequency to shrink tissue to the palate and reduce snoring.
- The procedure of installing an artificial mouthpiece made of soft polyester into the tissue of the palate to make it more rigid and reduce snoring. Discuss with your doctor before undergoing this procedure because the level of safety is still under investigation.