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Snoring

Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound, due to obstructed airflow during breathing while sleeping. In some cases, the sound may be soft, but in other cases, it can be loud and unpleasant. Snoring during sleep may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

 

Causes

 

In general, the structures involved are the uvula and the soft palate which can cause a passageway blockage and an irregular airflow. This can be due to one of the following:

 

 

Ÿ  Obstructive sleep apnea

Ÿ  Obstruction in the nasal passageway

Ÿ  Throat weakness, causing the throat to collapse during sleep

Ÿ  Mispositioned jaw

Ÿ  Sleeping on one’s back, which may result in the tongue dropping to the back of the mouth

Ÿ  The tissues at the top of airways causing vibrations

Ÿ  Fat gathering in and around the throat

Ÿ  Sinusitis

Ÿ  Nasal Obstructions

Ÿ  Deviated Septum

Ÿ  Nasal Valve Collapse

Ÿ  Polyps

Ÿ  Impact

 

Snoring causes sleep deprivation to snorers and those around them, as well as daytime drowsiness, irritability, lack of focus and a decreased libido. It can also cause significant psychological and social damage to sufferers. Multiple studies reveal a positive correlation between loud snoring and risk of heart attack (approximately +34% chance) and stroke (approximately +67% chance).

 

Though snoring is often considered a minor affliction, snorers can sometimes suffer severe impairment of lifestyle and researchers have discovered a statistically significant improvement in marital relations after snoring was surgically corrected.

 

If your snoring is affecting your sleep, it’s also affecting your waking hours. Snoring-induced sleep deprivation is often the culprit behind all sorts of daytime problems like headaches, irritability, poor memory, diminished concentration and lower job performance. No one thinks, acts or looks their best when they haven’t gotten enough sleep. And if you share your snoring with a bedmate, that goes double.

 

Snoring Diagnosis: Common Characteristics of a Typical Snorer

 

Ÿ  Gender: Although scientists are not sure why, men are more likely to snore than women. Of those who snore, 50% are men, and 30% are women, and after menopause, these percentages even out. Men also snore louder than women, which is often a sign of sleep apnea.

 

Ÿ  Age: Snoring tends to be a condition that is more common in adults over 40 years of age. Body weight often increases with age, along with the loss of muscle tone in the soft neck tissue resulting in a constriction of the throat, neck and air passages.

 

Ÿ  Weight: What you eat and how much you eat have an effect on your weight and the quality of your sleep. Typically, people who are obese have the most problems with respiratory symptoms during sleep.

 

Ÿ  Hypothyroidism: Thyroid deficiency causes excessive daytime sleepiness and snoring that is similar to sleep apnea; if you snore, you may want to ask your doctor for a thyroid function test to rule out hypothyroidism.

 

Ÿ  Drugs & Medication: Several medications have side effects that can cause snoring. Medications such as tranquilizers, sleeping pills and antihistamines, pain medications, oral contraceptives, estrogen, or high blood pressure medications.

Ÿ  Environmental Factors: Numerous environmental factors may cause snoring and worsen your symptoms.

 

Copied from  http://www.eossleep.com/conditions/snoring/

 

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from at least ten seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Similarly, each abnormally shallow breathing event is called a hypopnea. Sleep apnea is often diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram, or “sleep study”.

 

There are three forms of sleep apnea: central (CSA), obstructive (OSA), and complex or mixed sleep apnea (i.e., a combination of central and obstructive) constituting 0.4%, 84% and 15% of cases respectively. In CSA, breathing is interrupted by a lack of respiratory effort; in OSA, breathing is interrupted by a physical block to airflow despite respiratory effort, and snoring is common.

 

 

Causes

 

In general, the structures involved are the uvula and the soft palate which can cause a passageway blockage and an irregular airflow.

 

Ÿ  Sinusitis

Ÿ  Obstruction in the nasal passageway

Ÿ  Throat weakness, causing the throat to collapse during sleep

Ÿ  The tissues at the top of airways causing vibrations

Ÿ  Mispositioned jaw

Ÿ  Sleeping on one’s back, which may result in the tongue dropping to the back of the mouth

Ÿ  Fat gathering in and around the throat

Ÿ  Regardless of the type, an individual with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening. Sleep apnea is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body. Symptoms may be present for years (or even decades) without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance.

 

Common effects of sleep apnea include:

 

Ÿ  Daytime fatigue

Ÿ  A slower reaction time

Ÿ  Vision problems

Ÿ  Compromised brain functioning with:

  1. Planning and initiating tasks
  2. Difficulty in paying attention
  3. Working effectively processing information
  4. Memory
  5. Learning

Ÿ  Behavioral Effects

Ÿ  Moodiness

Ÿ  Belligerence

Ÿ  Decrease in attentiveness and drive

Since these effects become very hard to deal with, the development of depression may also transpire.

 

Types of Sleep Apnea

 

If you suffer from sleep apnea, your breathing can stop repeatedly throughout the night, depriving your brain not only of sleep, but also of oxygen. This is significant especially when you consider that some sufferers end up breathing less than half as often as they should. This can reach life-threatening levels when there are more than 30 events per hour, so it’s important to know how many interruptions you’re experiencing. Because the heart works harder when there are lower oxygen levels in the blood, apnea is most dangerous in people with heart disease and other chronic cardiopulmonary conditions. There are three types of sleep apnea:

 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

When airflow is blocked by a nasal obstruction or soft tissue in the palate, throat, or tongue, forcing you to struggle for breath; it’s the most common apnea type.

Central Sleep Apnea

A rare form caused by a problem in the central nervous system responsible for breathing.

Mixed Sleep Apnea

A combination of obstructive and central apnea.

 

More than 18 million Americans suffer from OSA. Are you one of them?

 

While it’s common, many people do not know they have OSA. The 2 most common symptoms of OSA are excessive sleepiness during the day and loud snoring at night.

 

Up to 82% of men and 93% of women with moderate to severe OSA have not been diagnosed and, therefore, are not receiving treatment. People with certain conditions are at higher risk for OSA.

 

Ÿ  Obesity (Body Mass Index greater than 35)

Ÿ  Heart disease

Ÿ  High blood pressure

Ÿ  Abnormal heart rhythm (including at night or while sleeping)

Ÿ  Stroke

Ÿ  Type 2 diabetes

Ÿ  Preoperative for bariatric surgery

Ÿ  Diagnosis

 

HSS (Home Sleep Test): In order to help diagnose and treat your condition we may recommend a simple to use home sleep study available for qualified patients to test for suspected sleep apnea.

 

Copied from  http://www.eossleep.com/conditions/sleep-apnea/

Anyone who has slept or is sleeping with someone with these disorders knows how everyone suffers. If you have any opinions, advice or suggestions, please, let me know!!

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