Diagnostics of snoring
Snoring is an acoustic phenomenon occurring due to airway obstruction during sleep and relaxation of muscles, including muscles of the throat. The cause of snoring can also be an obstruction in the nasal passageway.
The most serious complaint arising from snoring is the possibility of obstructive sleep apnea (called sleep apnea). It manifests with pauses in breathing during sleep lasting than 10 seconds. Sleep apnea causes inadequate oxygenation of the body, which may result in cerebral hypoxia, heart and other internal organs. Besides discomfort felt after waking up (headache, weakness, irritability, decreased concentration), it may also cause serious diseases, e.g. hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiovascular problems, and in men can lead to problems with erection.
Diagnostics of problems resulting from snoring usually begins in office of a laryngologist, who after interviewing commissions basic examinations (inter alia endoscopic examination and examination with a microscope). Depending on the severity of the problem – a lifestyle change (e.g. diet, quitting smoking) or, if the case is serious, a detailed diagnostics is recommended. As part of a detailed diagnosis the examination with an apnograph is performed.
Examination with an apnograph
This examination takes place in the patient’s home. An apnograph is connected overnight with a small probe. Throughout the night there are recorded the number of apnea and shallow breathing episodes per hour, as well as the level of saturation of peripheral blood with oxygen, heart rate, loudness of snoring and position during sleep.
An apnograph is a device that:
- detects, locates and differentiates breathing disorders during sleep
- helps to achieve better results of surgical interventions in the course of sleep apnea
- analyses and stores the patient’s cardio-respiratory parameters and simultaneously records data from two different locations in the upper respiratory tract.
Treatment of snoring is divided into:
- conservative treatment – used in the case when snoring has no form of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and is only a troublesome symptom
- surgical treatment – used in the case when Obstructive Sleep Apnea was diagnosed. Depending on the identification of a site producing sleep apnea, there can be distinguished surgical procedures in the areas of the nose, throat, soft palate, tongue and the bottom part of the upper respiratory tract.
Implantation of Pillar® implants
Implantation of Pillar® implants is a very popular method of snoring treatment. It involves introducing three implants into the area of the soft palate, causing it to stiffen.
The course of the procedure
The procedure involves the use of three implants. These implants, made of polyester fibre with a length of 18 mm and a width of 2 mm, are positioned in the mucosa of the soft palate – the place of the implantation is the boundary between the soft and hard palate. Implantation is performed with disposable surgical instruments. The entire procedure takes only several minutes and is performed under a local anaesthesia. Immediately after the procedure the patient can go home, and after an hour can eat a light meal.
Complications after the procedure performed occur rarely. The probability of an implant being slid out or displaced due to the movement of the palate is very small, and in such case an implant can be easily replaced.
The effects of the procedure are visible after approx. 3 months after the implantation performed. This period is associated with growing of the implant into the surrounding tissue of the soft palate, leading to stiffen this area.
Benefits of the use of implants:
- better oxygenation of the body during sleep
- lower sleepiness during the day
- the lack of visibility of an implant after implantation
- the lack of effect of implants on tone of voice and swallowing
- great comfort after the procedure performed
- drop in the incidence of sleep apnea to 80%.
The causes of snoring can be different, so an accurate and comprehensive diagnostics is recommended, enabling to locate the cause of ailment and to use an effective therapy.