Snorers can enjoy a good night sleep again

In recent years, snoring has come increasingly more into the focus of medical discussion. Most snorers and those persons around them, often cannot reach the important deep sleep phase because of the snoring noise, and consequently they are not rested in the morning.

We do observe that snorers occasionally even hold their breath to escape the noise of their own snoring. This can cause the vital oxygen in the blood to drop, which in turn can lead to serious cardiovascular problems. Additional risks for snorers are smoking, high blood pressure, blood sugar disease, and dyslipidemia.

What causes snoring?

If someone snores it means that he or she is breathing through the mouth while sleeping. If there is not enough air taken in through the nose, a person automatically opens the mouth to increase the intake capacity. Since the muscles of the soft palate are relaxed during sleep, the breathing causes them and in particular the uvula, to vibrate. This causes the familiar snoring sound. Additionally, through the vibration the palatine uvula is aggravated in such a way that it collects more tissue water, which over time causes the uvula to elongate and the snoring to become stronger and louder.

Nocturnal mouth breathing

Aside from an anatomical deformation of the nose - congenital or after accidents - the most common causes of nocturnal mouth breathing are swelling of the nasal mucous membranes, such as in acute or chronic colds, allergies or chronic heart disease that may at night cause the swelling of the nose.

Alcohol and obesity

In this context, nightly alcohol consumption is a major problem. Since the blood vessels expand with alcohol consumption, the nasal mucosa swells and obstructs the breathing through the nasal passages. Overweight persons constitute the second prominent group of snorers. This group experiences a so-called "relative nasal obstruction.” The functioning of the nose would generally be sufficient if the body, which has to be supplied with oxygen, would not be so bulky.

Suggestions to solve the problem

The solutions for preventing snoring and especially the breathing interruptions are ranging from small gadgets with often only a questionable effect, to airway pressure masks to surgery.  Surgery is useful when significant nasal breathing disabilities or extreme changes in the soft palate have been identified in examinations. There are some exceptions, however, in general, the cause (nose) should be treated first. Only subsequently, if necessary, the target organ (uvula) should be surgically altered since snoring often disappears after the first nasal operation. An intervention on the nose is painless; a reduction of the uvula may be performed later on an outpatient basis.

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