Snoring is obstructive breathing, a type of sleep breathing disorder. Snoring affects approximately 90 million people in the US.
Snoring is a big problem in today’s society. You hear about it more and more, it disrupts the bed partner, couples sleep in different bedrooms. In many cases snoring can lead to more serious problems according to Dr. Michel Fancelli of the Fancelli snoring and apnea clinic of Montreal (Longueuil).
A recent study has demonstrated a direct corrolation between snoring loudness and carotid artery blockage caused by plaque deposits along the arterial walls.
The other problem says Dr. Michel Fancelli of the Snoring and Sleep Apnea clinic of Montreal (Longueuil) is that in most cases snoring will eventually lead to sleep apnea . Not all snorers have apnea but 90 % of sleep apnea patients snore.
We know that people suffering from sleep apnea have a four times greater risk of stroke, three times greater risk of high blood pressure, of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, a higher risk of weight gain not forgetting loss of mental alertness and fatigue.
Most people think that snoring is caused by a blocked nose however snoring is actually caused by a partially blocked airway mostly due to the tongue. As we sleep the tongue moves to the back of the throat and partially obstructs the airway says Dr. Michel Fancelli of the Fancelli Snoring and Sleep Apnea center of Montreal (Longueuil). An example is a garden hose with water flowing out, if you pinch the hose and shrink the diameter, the water will come out at a much greater velocity. The same thing happens when the tongue partially blockes the airway as we sleep. The air in the lungs as we exhale will come out much faster, like in a wind tunnel, causing the soft palate, the uvula and other soft tissues to vibrate making the snoring sound.
We know that snoring gets worse as we get older due to the loss of muscle tone which is also why the risk of sleep apnea increases with age.
There are different methods to treat snoring according to Dr. Michel Fancelli of the Fancelli Snoring and Sleep Apnea Clinic of Montreal (Longueuil). The medical profession’s first option is often surgery where the vibrating tissues are removed. Exercises that can increase the muscle tone of the mouth and oropharynx is one option however few people actually do their exercises. Another option is a mandibular repositionning appliance which is a dental appliance that prevents the lower jaw and the tongue from moving backwards and obstructing the airway therefore eliminating the snoring noise.
There are other causes of snoring for example many different types of medication, like antihistamines, antianxiety meds, antidepressants and alcohol will cause muscle relaxation leading to snoring .
In conclusion Dr. Michel Fancelli of the Fancelli Snoring and Apnea Clinic of Montreal (Longueuil) suggests that all snorers get screened for sleep apnea before being treated for their snoring,
Dr. Fancelli is a member of the ACSDD (Clinical Sleep Disorder Disciplines) and practices at Centre Dentaire Fancelli (centredentairefancelli.ca) Montreal (Longueuil) Quebec, Canada since 1984. Dr Fancelli is a sleep expert for Sleep Better TV which provides on demand sleep disorder video content.
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