Snoring: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Snoring is a condition when a person makes loud noises while sleeping. Generally this condition is not dangerous, but in some cases it can indicate a serious health condition. Check out the explanation of the causes to how to overcome them in the following review.
What is Snoring?
Snoring or commonly known as snoring is a condition when a person makes loud noises while sleeping.
When you snore, harsh or loud sounds come out through the tissues in your throat. Ultimately, this will cause the tissues inside to vibrate when you breathe.
Although it can happen to anyone, snoring is more prone to happen to men over 50 years old who are overweight or obese.
In general, snoring is not dangerous and is a normal condition. However, in some cases, this habit can indicate sleep disturbances, for example sleep apnea.
Although it is a normal thing to happen, snoring can indicate a health problem that must be treated immediately. Therefore, you should know which symptoms are dangerous and which are not.
If your snoring habit is not a serious medical condition, you will usually only make loud noises while sleeping, without any other symptoms.
However, some people who experience it may also experience a dry and sore throat when they wake up in the morning.
When to See a Doctor?
The habit of snoring due to health problems is usually accompanied by various other symptoms, such as:
- Gasping or choking during sleep.
- Chest pain at night.
- Snoring too loud to disturb your partner.
- Sore throat when waking up.
- High blood pressure.
- Headache when waking up in the morning.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- There is a pause when breathing during sleep.
Some of the above symptoms indicate sleep apnea sleep disorders. Therefore, check your condition to the doctor immediately when you experience it.
Also Read: Variety of Good Sleeping Positions, Reduce Snoring to Heartburn
Causes of Snoring
Snoring can occur due to several conditions, including:
- Constriction of the respiratory tract: Weakening of the throat muscles can cause narrowing of the respiratory tract. As a result, vibrations come out that produce ‘snoring sounds’.
- Oral anatomy: If you have a thick, low, soft palate, your airways are narrower.
- Nasal problems: When you have a stuffy nose, you are more likely to have trouble snoring while sleeping.
- Lack of sleep: This condition can result in further relaxation of the throat.
- Sleeping position: Sleeping on your back is more likely to cause you to snore loudly because the effects of gravity narrow your airways.
Sleep snoring is more risky for some people who have the following conditions:
- Overweight or obese.
- Alcohol addiction.
- Family history of similar conditions.
- Health problems, such as nasal congestion due to allergies or the flu.
- Pregnant women. This happens due to hormonal changes and weight gain.
In order to ascertain the cause of snoring experienced by the patient, the doctor will carry out a series of diagnostic procedures, including:
First of all, the doctor will ask a number of questions to the patient regarding the complaints they are experiencing, such as:
- How long has this condition lasted?
- How’s your sleep pattern so far?
- Is the cleanliness of the bedroom well maintained?
- Do you often wake up while sleeping at night? If yes, how often?
- Are you often sleepy during the day?
- Do you have a nap routine? If yes, how long is the duration?
2. Physical Examination
The doctor will proceed to the next stage of examination, namely the physical examination of the patient.
At this stage, the doctor will measure the body mass index to see whether the patient’s body weight is ideal or excessive.
As is known, being overweight or obese is also a risk factor for someone snoring while sleeping.
3. Supporting Examination
Investigations are carried out to analyze the extent to which snoring interferes with overall sleep quality. This examination will also confirm the disease that is the trigger.
A series of supporting examinations were carried out, including:
- Polysomnography: This test is commonly performed on patients with snoring sleep problems. The procedure is carried out by attaching a sensor device to the patient’s body. Later, this tool will record the patient’s heart rate, brain waves, and eye movements while sleeping.
- Scan: This test is done to check for problems such as blockages, swelling, and tumors in the neck and head area. Scanning can be done with CT scan (computerized tomography scan) or MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging).
Also Read: Getting to Know Polysomnography, Procedures for Diagnosing Sleep Disorders
How to Treat Snoring
Basically, treatment depends on the underlying cause. Apart from that, the habit of snoring in general can reduce sleep quality and disturb the people around you.
The following are various ways to get rid of snoring, including:
1. Improving Lifestyle
A healthier lifestyle can be a ‘cure’ for snoring which is quite effective. Avoid the habit of consuming alcohol before going to bed and sleeping on your back.
In addition, get the ideal body weight. The reason is, excess body weight causes the respiratory tract to be blocked due to a pile of fatty tissue in the neck area.
By eliminating the fat in that area, the respiratory tract will open wide again so that the airways become smooth and do not cause vibrations that lead to the distinctive sound of snoring.
Treatment of snoring will be adjusted to the cause. For example, the cause of snoring is a stuffy nose, so cold and allergy medicines can help.
3. Medical Measures
Snoring conditions caused by certain diseases such as swelling of the tonsils require surgery. Generally, operations are performed such as:
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): A surgical procedure that aims to tighten the roof of the mouth and also the throat. This surgery is performed when snoring is caused by sleep apnea.
- Tonsillectomy: This operation is performed if snoring is caused by a disturbance in the tonsils (tonsils).
- Somnoplasty: Surgery uses radio waves to reduce excess tissue on the roof of the mouth.
- Laser-assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP): An operation using a laser beam to open narrowed airways.
Also Read: Sleep Hygiene, Methods to Create Healthy Sleep Habits
If your snoring habits related to sleep apneathere are a number of complications to watch out for, including:
- High blood pressure which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
- Lack of rest causing drowsiness during the day.
- There is a risk of having an accident due to lack of sleep.
- Often frustrated or angry.
- Difficulty concentrating
- Behavioral problems or learning problems in children.
That’s an explanation about snoring, from the symptoms to the treatment. If you have an unusual habit of snoring, immediately consult a doctor.
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- Anonymous. 2017. snoring. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/snoring/symptoms-causes/syc-20377694. (Accessed January 2, 2023).
- Kaur, Simranjeet, et al. 2015. Snoring: An Annoyance or a Serious Health Problem (Obstructive Sleep Apnea)? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4389504/. (Accessed January 2, 2023).
- Kotecha B. & Shneerson JM. 2003. Treatment Options for Snoring and Sleep Apnea. https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC539538/. (Accessed January 2, 2023).
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