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SNORING - Affects the whole family


Do you snore?

If you do - you are not alone

Habitual and intermittent snoring is reported to affect 34% of the adult population.

should you be concerned?


especially if you also suffer from some of the following symptoms.

You maybe also suffering a Sleep Disordered Breathing Condition called

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

·Do you snore loudly.

·Do you snore every night.

·Have you or your partner moved to another bedroom.

·Do you suffer excessive daytime sleepiness.

·Have you dosed off while driving.

·Do you fall asleep at meetings, reading or watching TV.

·Are you drowsy in the afternoon.

·Do you feel tired after lunchtime.

·Do you choke or gasp during sleep.

·Have you been told you hold your breath during sleep.

·Have you woken short of breath during the night.

·Are you restless during sleep.

·Do you have toilet visits during the night.

·Do you suffer heart burn (indigestion) at night..

·Are you tired upon waking. (lethargic, no energy)

·Do you suffer morning headaches.

·Are you irritable on waking in the morning.

·Reduced sexual activity.

·Do you suffer from High Blood Pressure.

If in addition to snoring you suffer some of the above quality of life, medical conditions.

You are not only noisy at night and disturb others, but your health may also be suffering from your snoring.

Habitual Snorers have now been shown to have a higher incidence of High Blood Pressure and an increased risk of suffering a stroke.

You should discuss your problems with your Doctor or Dentist. There are now simple non invasive medically / scientifically proven treatments available.

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Snoring Diagnosis.
Your Doctor or Dentist may refer you to a Respiratory Sleep Physician who specializes in Sleep related disorders. Over the last 10-15 years medical research into sleep has received increasing attention.

Specific tests and monitoring equipment have been developed to determine the quality of a persons sleep patterns.

With these developments it has now been found that people are suffering daytime quality of life problems and medical conditions that are being caused by their sleep patterns and need medical treatments.

What causes snoring?
Snoring is a noise generated by vibration of the soft or floppy parts at the back of the throat, on breathing in, while asleep.

Snoring occurs, as you fall asleep, as you relax, your throat relaxes and as you relax more, or if you are lying on your back, the airway becomes smaller and the airflow becomes turbulent causing vibration primarily of the uvula and soft palate.


Area of throat that collapses diring the night and blocks breathing

Basic Treatments.
Often people who suffer intermittent snoring episodes can control the problem by;

·Controlling increase in weight. People gain weight on the inside as well as outside, particularly around the neck which can narrow the airways.

·Avoiding Alcohol. Alcohol causes greater muscle relaxation of airways during sleep than normally happens.

·Changing sleeping body position. Sleep on the side. Sleeping on the back can restrict the airways of the throat.

·Promptly treat colds or allergies that can cause “stuffiness” leading to mouth breathing.

There are some people who have structural variations to their jaw, throat, face or nose that can affect the upper airways and cause snoring.

Hormonal changes can also affect people as they get older especially the male as he gets older the testosterone levels drop and the estrogen take over and causes loss of muscle tone in the throat causing collapse when they relax during sleep.

Intermittent snoring usually only causes partial obstruction to airflow (50% obstruction is called an hypopnea). But even this can affect the amount of blood/oxygen the body is getting during sleep, leading to morning headaches and daytime sleepiness.

Habitual snoring can lead to complete block to breathing during sleep, evidenced by choking or gasping during sleep.


OSA is characterized by repetitive episodes of upper airway obstruction that occurs during sleep, usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen.
(the brain is deprived of oxygen)

OSA syndrome is an important medical disorder that warrants active investigation by means of a clinical evaluation and polysomnography sleep study. Treatment is essential, not only to improve the symptoms that include snoring and sleepiness, but also to prevent the development of cardiovascular complications.

The main problem with OSA is the effect on blood oxygen levels in the body. If we cannot inhale air, oxygen levels are reduced. The brain while we are asleep senses the lack of oxygen and stimulates the body to wake up (called an arousal). Breathing returns to normal till the next blockage.

In people with severe OSA these arousal’s can happen up to 400 times per night. The nights sleep is very disrupted, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness, confused states, headaches etc the next day.

Often the problem is first noticed by the person’s sleeping partner who notices that in addition to snoring the sufferer has periods of non breathing and lie awake fearful that breathing will not start again.

Unfortunately the sufferer normally does not wake long enough to remember in the morning they have had the events. All they know is that they awake tired etc.

This continual arousal pattern ever night has an adverse effect on the sufferer’s day time activity levels and quality of life and often leads to cardiac and blood pressure problems.

Chronic Daytime Sleepiness is really a medical condition and can lead to increased car accidents, work accidents and sick days.

Not to mention the affect on the sleeping or non sleeping partner and others in the household.


Obstructive sleep apnoea is the more common type of sleep apnoea, earning its name because it's characterized by an obstructed airway.

In central sleep apnoea, which is more difficult to treat, the airway isn't blocked. Instead, your brain periodically fails to trigger your body's normal breathing reflex, resulting in breathing stoppages. (CPAP or BiPAP are the only treatments for this type of condition)

Some people may have mixed apnea — a combination of obstructive sleep apnoea and central sleep apnea. In all these types, breathing is interrupted, usually between 10 and 30 seconds at a time, until you rouse to a lighter level of sleep or brief wakefulness. Breathing resumes, but after you again fall asleep, the cycle continues.

Sleep apnoea is most common after middle age — and particularly among those who are overweight — but it can also affect children. Many people may be unaware of their condition.

“Snoring is more than a noise”




SURGERY Surgery should always be a last resort in your effort to stop snoring. Being invasive there is always the chance of post complications and pain. While in the short term it may reduce the sound of snoring it will not help underlying Obstructive Sleep Apnea symptoms. There are several surgical procedures available for snorers. Uvulopalathopharyngoplasty involves removing excess throat tissues such as tonsils and parts of the soft palate to expand the airway. There is also laser-assisted uvuloplatoplasty (LAUP), which uses a laser to remove part of the uvula and palate. More than one session may be needed with LAUP.Another relatively new surgical procedure, somnoplasty, shrinks excess tissue via very low levels of radiofrequency energy. The tissue is then naturally reabsorbed by the body. Performed under local anesthesia in less than 10 minutes, somnoplasty is designed to minimize the bleeding and pain associated with other techniques.An even newer type of procedure using radiofrequency energy is called coblation-channeling. Unlike somnoplasty and others which heats or shrinks tissue, coblation-channeling clears blocked airways by both shrinking and removing tissue. Doctors can also inject sclerosing liquid into soft palate tissue to cause irritation and scarring. This tightens the soft palate, making it less likely to rub against the tongue or tonsils and cause snoring. ·If snoring stems from the nose, nasal surgery to remove obstructions in the nose or to correct a deviated septum may also help you stop snoring."The drawback is that although in the short term (surgical procedures) may be very effective, overtime , most people are snoring again,"