Ronchopathy (Snoring): Definition, Types of Ronchopathy and Treatment

Ronchopathy (Snoring): Definition, Types of Ronchopathy and Treatment

Important points Summary
What is ronchopathy Ronchopathy is a respiratory disorder characterized by loud, repetitive breath sounds during sleep, caused by partial obstruction of the upper airway.
Symptoms and consequences The main symptoms are loud snoring, apnoea, daytime sleepiness and irritability. in the long term, untreated ronchopathy can lead to serious cardiovascular and metabolic risks.
Causes of ronchopathy The main causes are obesity, age, male sex, structural abnormalities of the airways, allergies, alcohol consumption and smoking.
Diagnosis The diagnosis is based on a physical examination, sleep tests such as polysomnography and sometimes endoscopy to visualise the airways.
Treatments Treatments include anti-snoring appliances, mandibular advancement orthoses, lifestyle changes and, in severe cases, surgery.

What is ronchopathy?

Snoring is a breathing disorder that occurs during sleep.

It is characterised by loud, repetitive breath sounds caused by partial obstruction of the upper airways.

๐Ÿ”Ž The physiological mechanism involved is as follows: when you fall asleep, the muscles in your throat, particularly the soft palate and uvula, relax.

This restricts the passage of air into the upper respiratory tract (pharynx).

When you breathe in, the air vibrates these relaxed soft tissues, producing the characteristic snore.

What are the symptoms and consequences of ronchopathy?

Nocturnal symptoms

The main nocturnal symptoms of ronchopathy are loud, repetitive snoring, which can reach 90 decibels (equivalent to the noise of a lorry).

Snoring is often interspersed with pauses in breathing (apnoeas) during which the sleeper temporarily stops breathing.

Other symptoms may also be present, such as:

๐Ÿ’Š nocturnal hypersudation,

๐Ÿ’Š the frequent need to urinate

Daytime symptoms

Rhonchopathy, particularly when associated with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSA), can lead to :

๐Ÿ’Š excessive daytime sleepiness,

๐Ÿ’Š irritability,

๐Ÿ’Š concentration problems.

These symptoms are due to sleep fragmentation and poor oxygenation during the night.

Health consequences

If left untreated, chronic rhonchi can have serious health consequences, including a risk of:

๐Ÿ’Š increased arterial hypertension,

๐Ÿ’Š cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke),

๐Ÿ’Š type 2 diabetes,

๐Ÿ’Š metabolic syndrome.

It can also lead to heart rhythm disorders and heart failure.

Consequences for quality of life

In addition to the health risks, snoring disease can considerably impair the quality of life of snorers and those around them.

Noisy snoring disrupts your partner's sleep, which can cause tension within the couple and even lead to separation or divorce in extreme cases.

Le ronflement

What are the causes of ronchopathy?

Obesity and overweight

Excess weight is one of the main causes of ronchopathy.

Fatty deposits around the neck and throat narrow the airways, making it easier to vibrate and snore when you breathe while you sleep.


With age, the muscles of the upper respiratory tract tend to relax, increasing the risk of snoring.

This is why ronchopathy is more common in the elderly.


Men are more often affected by gum disease than women, due to anatomical differences in the pharynx and the production of hormones such as testosterone, which encourage muscle relaxation.

Structural anomalies

Certain malformations or anatomical anomalies of the airways can cause snoring, such as:

๐Ÿ’Š a deviated nasal septum,

๐Ÿ’Š an oversized tongue,

๐Ÿ’Š enlarged tonsils,

๐Ÿ’Š a narrowing of the pharynx.

Nasal allergies and congestion

Seasonal allergies, colds or any other cause of nasal congestion can partially obstruct the nasal passages and force you to breathe through your mouth, resulting in snoring.

Lifestyle habits

Certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking, make muscles slack and increase the risk of snoring :

๐Ÿ’Š alcohol,

๐Ÿ’Š sleeping pills,

๐Ÿ’Š certain medicines.

Smoking and sleeping in the supine position are also aggravating factors.

Les causes du ronflement

Diagnosis of ronchopathy

Physical examination

A physical examination can diagnose obstructive sleep apnoea, which is often the underlying cause of rhonchopathy.

The doctor will look for signs of upper respiratory tract obstruction, such as:

๐Ÿ’Š an oversized tongue,

๐Ÿ’Š enlarged tonsils,

๐Ÿ’Š a deviated nasal septum.

Sleep tests

Specialist examinations are needed to assess the severity of sleep disorders.

The polysomnography which is performed in a sleep laboratory is used to detect and measure sleep apnoea.

This examination records:

๐Ÿ’Š breathing movements,

๐Ÿ’Š heart rate,

๐Ÿ’Š oxygenation of the blood,

๐Ÿ’Š waking up at night.


During the consultation, the doctor may ask for an endoscopy to examine the inside of the airways and check whether there are any anatomical abnormalities that contribute to snoring.

This examination provides a direct view of the state of the tissues and detects any obstructions or malformations.

Treatment of ronchopathy

Non-invasive treatment

For mild to moderate cases, non-invasive treatments such as:

๐Ÿ’Š from anti-snoring devices,

๐Ÿ’Š mandibular advancement orthoses,

๐Ÿ’Š positional therapy.

These solutions aim to keep the airways open during sleep and reduce the vibrations that cause snoring.

Medical treatment

If snoring is associated with underlying health problems such as obesity, treatment may involve lifestyle changes such as:

๐Ÿ’Š weight loss,

๐Ÿ’Š stopping smoking,

๐Ÿ’Š reducing alcohol consumption.

Medication may also be prescribed to treat potential causes.

Surgical treatment

In severe cases, or when non-invasive treatments fail, surgery may be considered to treat airway obstructions.

This may involve maxillofacial surgery or radiofrequency techniques to reduce soft tissue.

FAQ on ronchopathy

Q. What are the signs of severe rhonchopathy?

Signs of severe ronchopathy include very loud and frequent snoring, often accompanied by pauses in breathing (apnoea) during sleep.

Q. Is ronchopathy dangerous to health?

Yes, untreated severe ronchitis can have serious health consequences.

This increases the risks:

๐Ÿ’Š high blood pressure,

๐Ÿ’Š cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke),

๐Ÿ’Š metabolic disorders such as diabetes,

๐Ÿ’Š accidents linked to excessive drowsiness.

Q. When should a doctor be consulted about ronchopathy?

It is advisable to consult a doctor, ideally a sleep specialist or ENT specialist, in the following situations:

๐Ÿ’Š loud, regular snoring,

๐Ÿ’Š daytime sleepiness,

๐Ÿ’Š chronic fatigue,

๐Ÿ’Š morning headaches,

๐Ÿ’Š if your partner reports shortness of breath while you sleep.

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