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If you share your room or bed with a person who snores at night it is definitely going to disturb your peaceful sleep. But for the person who snores, it is a red flag. Snoring doesn t mean a restful sound sleep as it might seem. This is because people who snore actually experience a sudden stop in oxygen supply in the middle of the night. And this sudden oxygen drop could spell a disaster for them anytime soon. Here are seven reasons why you should take your snoring seriously.
Snoring is a condition where there is some obstruction in the nose, mouth, throat that blocks breathing while sleeping producing a soft or loud unpleasant sound. It is a sign or first alarm of OSA (obstructive sleep apnoea). Sudden pauses in breathing could increase one s chances of suffering from heart attack, stroke, complications of high blood pressure, etc. This is why snoring should never be ignored but treated. Friends and family members of the sufferer should be vigilant enough to pick up the cues and pursue him/her to take the right treatment.
Here Dr Dillon Dsouza, a Mumbai based Consultant ENT and Head and Neck surgeon attached to Jaslok Hospital and Desa hospital tells us about the treatment options for snoring.
Medical treatments: All treatments for snoring and sleep apnoea try to fix the blockage in the nose/throat or bypass it. These include special pillows; devices to keep the jaw aligned or the nose open, machines that continuously blow air into the nose and throat to keep them open like the CPAP. Currently, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is considered the gold standard for the treatment of OSA.
CPAP applies a positive airway pressure through a nasal mask which the person has to wear during sleep. This positive pressure acts as a pneumatic splint to hold the upper airway open throughout the entire breathing cycle. It is recommended that the level of positive airway pressure be determined for each patient during a sleep study before investing in a CPAP. The positive air pressure prohibits the airways from collapsing, ensuring that air flows freely to the lungs. This helps the person to sleep better and stops the episodes of snoring. However, all these medical treatments are for mild to moderate cases of snoring or sleep apnoea.
Surgical treatments: Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (removal of tissues in the back of the throat) is the surgery done to correct crooked nose bones and remove extra tissues from the nose, it might also involve removal of tonsils, reducing the size of the tongue, and insertion of stiff materials into the top of the mouth. In very advanced cases, it involves hyoid advancement where the bone in the neck to which tongue is attached is pulled up and forward, tongue advancement by moving the tip of the jaw outward, lower jaw advancement, where the entire upper and lower jaw is moved forward by 1.2cm, and making a hole in the neck called a permanent tracheostomy.
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