SNORING (SLEEP APNEA) – DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

Snoring not only put the patient at risk of complications such as daytime sleepiness, frequent frustration or difficulty concentrating, but also causes nuisance for their partner, affecting their quality of life as well as their job performance.

OVERVIEW

Snoring is the hoarse or harsh sound that occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in the throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as someone breathe. Those who exhibit it, either complete or partial collapse of the upper airway, causing difficulty when breathing.

In some cases, snoring is often associated with a sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in which breathing stops involuntarily for brief periods of time during sleep. Those temporary breathing lapses affect the body’s supply oxygen, causing low quality sleep and potentially serious health consequences.

According to Norton P. survey (2017), among 2629 subjects interviewed, 71% male and 51% female has snoring habitual. Thus, another research has determined that OSA most frequently affects older men (Garvey et al, 2015). Particularly, the incidence of snoring during sleep time in male was 20% as under 30-year old and 30% as over 50-year old.

CAUSES

There are strong correlations between gender, age and weight to the risk of experiencing OSA has been proven. Some of the most common factors include higher mass height and weight, upper airway and craniofacial abnormalities, alcohol consumption, nasal problems, sleep deprivation and position, family history.

COMPLICATIONS

Due to how it affects oxygen balance in the body, untreated sleep apnea raises dangers for various types of cardiovascular issues including high blood pressure, heart attack, heart disease and stroke.

Furthermore, snoring not only put the patient at risk of complications such as daytime sleepiness, frequent frustration or difficulty concentrating, but also causes nuisance for their partner, affecting their quality of life as well as their job performance.

Especially, this problem may also bring many marital difficulties and very well contribute to separation or divorce.

TREAMENTS

Under those circumstances, treatment for snoring (or OSA) should be taken in order to ensure the best performance in the patient’s life and the people around. 

Depending on the patient’s signs and symptoms during sleep history, there are several treatment options for OSA would be recommended by doctors:


(Lifestyle and home remedies)

  • Lose excess weight
  • Regular exercise
  • Avoid alcohol and certain medication (such as tranquilizers and sleeping pills)
  • Sleep on sides or abdomen rather on the back
  • Quit smoking

(Therapies)

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy: using mask with a moderate to deliver air pressure during sleep time. However, this several masks can cause cumbersome and uncomfortable.
  • Other airway pressure devices: similar to CPAP, this other type of airway pressure device can automatically adjust while the patient’s sleeping (provide more pressure when inhale and less when exhale)
  • Oral appliances: in order to keep the throat open, a designed applicant provided by dentists will be put inside the mouth to stop snoring and mild OSA.
  • Treatment for associates medical problems: depends on the causes of central sleep apnea which might be heart or neuromuscular disorders, a treatment for those conditions might help
  • Supplemental oxygen: providing a device that deliver oxygen directly to the lungs
  • Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV): an upgraded version of CPAP, using information collected from patient’s condition and establish a normal breathing pattern that can normalize the patient’s breathing and prevent pauses while they’re sleeping.

(Surgery)

  • Tissue removal: doctors will remove the tissue from the rear of patient’s mouth and top of the throat (as well as tonsils and adenoids in some cases). This surgery can stop throat structures from vibrating which causes snoring. Nevertheless, this type of surgery isn’t considering as a reliable treatment
  • Tissue shrinkage: effects similar to tissue removal by using radiofrequency ablation and also contains surgical risks
  • Jaw repositioning: patient’s jaw will be move forward from the remainder of the face bones. This enlarges the space behind the tongue and soft palate, making obstruction less likely.
  • Implants: implant soft rods to the soft palate after local anaesthetic
  • Nerve stimulation: insert a stimulator for the nerve that controls tongue movement and can keep the airway open.
  • Creating new air passageway: only if the patient faces the life-threatening OSA, this surgery would be implemented. Surgeon will make an opening in the neck and insert a metal/plastic tube through which the patient can breathe.

Overall, any types of treatment contain pros and cons, depends on the patient’s condition, a suitable solution will be considerate. At Worldwide Hospital, OSA patient can be benefit from using NightLase® treatment, the most reliable non-surgery method of treating sleep apnea. Using Laser Lightwalker 2020 is promised to bring successful result right after the first time of treatment.