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    July 05, 2011

    Snoring update....

     

    Snoring update……….

    This is a problem affecting nearly 40% of the Western population.  It also has far reaching implications for the people who are in close relationship with the snorers. It can affect children and adults.

    It is more common in

    ·      men

    ·      when sleeping on your back

    ·      in overweight or obese people

    ·      smokers

    ·      after the use of sedatives or alcohol

    ·      in people with allergies, nasal obstruction, and enlarged adenoids or tonsils

    It occurs when the air space in your throat narrows and the air intake and output causes the soft tissues in your throat to vibrate. It can cause an enormous variety of sounds.

    The consequences

    ·      unhappiness of sleeping partner

    ·      mouth-breathing causes increase in bad breath and higher incidence of dental issues

    ·      inadequate amounts of sleep resulting in fatigue and depression

    ·      4% of snorers have sleep aponea. This is a serious medical issue, where the snorer stops breathing for more than 10 seconds at a time. I will investigate this further in another article

     

    The treatment options

    Behavioural. These are the most important to address first.

    ·      Reduce or eliminate alcohol and sedatives, these cause oedema in the throat and depress brain function which causes relaxation of the muscles of the throat

    ·      lose weight. Even small amounts of weight loss can reduce snoring

    ·      sleep on your side

    ·      reduce cigarette consumption

    ·      no big meals within 2 hours of bedtime

    ·      concentrate and get into the habit of breathing through your nose

    Appliances

    ·      Mandibular advancement splints(MAS) usually made by your dentist. Compliance is often low and there can be some dental ramifications

    ·      Tongue stabilising device(TSD). Pulls the tongue forward, usually with limited success

    ·      Continuous Positive Airway Pressure(CPAP) A cumbersome device which supplies a positive flow of air which keeps the airway open

    Surgery

    Before any surgery is recommended, there needs to be a lot of information gathered about the exact cause of the snoring in the individual. In most cases the snoring is reduced initially but does not take long to come back. Surgery can include the removal of the tonsils, adenoids, uvula and other nasal and soft tissue surgery.

    How bad is my snoring?

    Answer the following questions with the following scoring scale…

    0 – never

    1 – infrequently

    2 – frequently

    3 – 4 or more nights per week

    1. My snoring affects my relationship with my partner

    2. My snoring causes my bed partner to be irritable and/or tired

    3. My partner and I sleep in separate rooms

    4. I am fatigued, exhausted and have a lack of energy

    5. I have a morning headache

    6. I lose concentration, forget things and fall asleep at inappropriate times

    7. My sleep does not seem restful

    8. I feel depressed

    9. My snoring is loud

    10. My snoring also affects people when I am away from home

    If you score greater than 8 then your snoring is affecting your quality of life and those around you. I suggest that you need to seek treatment or a solution

    Use the following Observer Scale to assess your partners snoring behaviour

    The scale is the same as the Snore scale above

    1.    Loud, obtrusive or irritating snoring

    2.    Choking or gasping for air

    3.    Pauses in breathing

    4.    Twitching/kicking of arms or legs

    5.    Snoring requires separate bedrooms

    6.    Falling asleep at inappropriate times (while driving, talking, meetings etc)

    If you have any further questions please talk to me at my office 9908 3466 or by email at advice@dentalcareproducts.com.au

     
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