Snoring: Definition, Causes, Devices and Treatments

There are many consequences to snoring during the day: drowsiness, irritability, fatigue...These consequences also affect snorers' spouses who see their sleep disturbed.

Snoring can be benign but can also be a sign of a health problem. It is therefore imperative to focus on finding its cause. Snoring can result from sleep apnea and will then have to be monitored medically.  The causes of snoring are varied and many risk factors related to lifestyle are now singled out.

Snoring benefits from many treatments ranging from natural remedies to operations and appliances.

Snoring: Definition

Snoring is extremely common; In Europe, 40 to 60% of people over fifty suffer from ronchopathy. But what is snoring? 

The simplest definition of snoring is: it is an obstruction of airflow. During sleep the muscles relax, this is the case of the pharyngeal dilator muscles. This has the consequence of reducing the airways. The noise emitted is the consequence of vibrations of the pharynx on inspiration. It is important to note that snoring can be intermittent or regular. In addition, snoring can be isolated or, on the contrary, be associated with other pathologies such as sleep apnea. It is therefore advisable to have a medical check-up to find out if snoring is not the witness of other more serious medical pathologies.

Ronflement définition enfant

Studies show that men are more prone to snoring than women. 67% of snorers are indeed men (IPSOS study). Why this? The reason is anatomical, women produce progesterone on the muscular tissues of the throat. Finally, snoring can affect children, therefore it is advisable to consult a doctor. Indeed, constant snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea.

Snoring: Causes and risk factors

Snoring is, as we noted, an upper airway obstruction. Are there other causes? Why do some people snore and others don't?

Several explanations can be put forward. The first is anatomical. Thereby, large tonsils or polyps in the nasal airways can be the cause of snoring. Finally, a number of people with deviated nasal septum suffer from snoring on a regular basis. It has also been observed that during pregnancy, many women suddenly start to snore. This is explained by weight gain, but not only. Indeed, pregnancy causes a significant number of estrogens. These cause swelling of the tissues in the nasal mucous membranes and in the palate passages.

ronflement cause

The risk factors are varied and strongly favor snoring. With advancing age, the risk of developing ronchopathy is higher. Lifestyle affects the intensity and frequency of snoringConsumption of alcohol or tobacco before bedtime will promote snoring during the night. Similarly, being overweight regularly leads to snoring. Lying on your back has the effect of blocking the tongue backwards and causes snoring.

Snoring: The mild treatments

Snoring can be the result of temporary nasal congestion such as a cold. The use of decongestants will then be recommended. Mountain Pine, Juniper, and Peppermint essential oils have effective decongestant properties.

Some people have many allergies. Allergies promote snoring. Dust and contact with animals must then be avoided.

The position during the night influences the quality of sleep. Pillows specially designed for snorers can help alleviate snoring.

orthèses nasales nastent

Back2Sleep is an intra-nasal orthosis available in four sizes to adapt to the morphology of each snorer. The end of the stent reaches the soft palate allowing the passage of air. The patient quickly regains regular breathing and gains restful sleep.

In order to enlarge the airway opening, it is possible to use a mandibular advancement orthosis. This allows you to fight against the obstruction of the air passage.

Finally, it should be pointed out that there are various other devices for treating snoring. We can mention the anti-snoring ring, the anti-snoring belt or the anti-snoring headband.

Snoring: anti-snoring devices and surgical operations

When light anti-snoring treatments are not enough to put an end to snoring, it is possible to use a device during the night. This device is called a "continuous pressure ventilation device". This will be indicated after medical consultation in the face of severe snoring associated with sleep apnea. This device allows pressurized air to be projected into the respiratory tract.

Radio frequency is recommended for patients with a too loose soft palate. The use of electrodes will allow the retraction of the soft palate. This is to achieve a reduction of the muscles of the palate in order to facilitate the passage of air.

Ronflement traitement

Finally, it is possible to have recourse, in the most serious cases, to surgery. This surgery will only be carried out after a follow-up and on medical recommendation. What does it consist of?

Pharyngotomy consists of a removal of the uvula and part of the soft palate. This resection once again widens the passage of air and combats vibrations. This intervention induces a medical follow-up carried out by an ENT. This operation will only be recommended in the most serious cases because in addition of being painful it will not be reimbursed by the health insurance.

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