Are you snoring your way to ill health? International sleep day is just the time to talk about sleep and its nemesis snoring. Snoring irritates others and disturbs your partner’s sleep. But did you know when you snore, it affects your heart and all your systems?
- Health Survey conducted in India:22.0% of total population self-reported having Snoring Disorder.
- OSA highest in the age group 50–59 (21.7%).
- Males 14.8%
- Females 12.9%.
With blocked nose or cold occasionally some people may snore. But if you are a chronic snorer, I have some questions for you.
- How long have you been snoring?
- Do you feel sleepy and have low energy every morning?
- Did it start suddenly? Are you overweight? Are you hypertensive or Diabetic?
The problem with a small sound like snoring is, it grows to be a problem if you don’t tackle it first.
Good news: early intervention is useful in many cases.
Bad news: sometimes even surgery may be needed to help you on the way to health.
Snoring can happen in different grades when it causes sleep apnoea or hypopnea, you need to worry.
OSAH or obstructive sleep apnoea/ hypopnea
OSAH a serious condition. It’s important for you to know that with severe snoring your airway closes and your cells and organs including heart and brain function without oxygen during that time.
The problem is you don’t know whether you are having this problem. Your doctor listens to your symptoms or clues and may ask you to do some tests.
- Apnea: complete breath-holding for ten or more seconds.
- Hypopnea: Partial breath-holding
Symptoms of Sleep apnea
- Witness breath holding
- Gasping choking
- Fragmented sleep
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Reduced alertness
- Poor quality of life in general
- Mood changes
Risk factors of OSAH: Snoring Causes
- Male gender
- Associated with Cerebrovascular disease
- Smoking history
- Any history of tonsillectomy or adenoid surgery in childhood.
- Shift workers
- History of a road traffic accident
Danger Signs for OSAH
- BMI of more than 28
- Neck circumference 43 cm is predictive
- Nasal problems like nasal valve collapse, stenosis of nares, deviated nasal septum. Inferior turbinate hypertrophy, polyps
- Craniofacial abnormality
Tests for OSAH
- The gold standard for testing is in hospital polysomnography includes assessment of respiratory oximetry and sleep architecture assessment uses EEG, EOG EMG
- Blood workup
Treatment options you have
Lifestyle modifications which will help.
- Sleep hygiene
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure helps to keep the airway open and prevent apnoeic events in people with snoring
- Snoring Aids like mandibular advancement devices, special pillows, nasal dilators, air purifiers, and humidifiers. But all these are a case to case variable.
Snoring Aids: Do they work?
A nasal dilator will work in someone with a narrowed internal nasal valve area. But this is possible only after you find out the cause of snoring. People with positional snoring, most common is the supine position. A wedge pillow, realignment pillow, and a side sleeping pillow, often help in maintaining proper sleep posture and can be helpful in some cases.
Mandibular advancement device (MAD) advances and brings your lower jaw forward. This makes the tissues tightened and helps prevent snoring. Its best for supine snorers, overweight people who have started snoring, age related worsening of snoring.
What is the best course of action, for you will depend on the underlying condition causing snoring. But if obesity is the cause, you have hope when you lose weight. Get help from an expert on time.
Disclaimer: This is information for awareness. As healthcare information is constantly updated, the blog post is not meant to be a replacement for a doctor consultation, nor is it a medical recommendation or treatments. Any reader of this blog, with problems, should specifically consult his/her doctor for medical conditions and follow the suggested course of treatment’.