Snoring is the noisy sound created by the air flow as it passes through these regions as a result of the narrowing of the nose, soft palate, uvula and tongue root during sleep. As the narrowing of the airways increases, the degree of snoring of the person will increase at this rate.
Sleep apnea is when breathing stops for 10 seconds or more during sleep. Not all people who snore may have sleep apnea, but patients with sleep apnea definitely have snoring.
Sleep apnea is a serious health problem that negatively affects the quality of life and health of people. Untreated sleep apnea can cause headaches, high blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders, heart attacks, strokes, impotence and sudden nocturnal death. Fatigue during the day causes excessive sleepiness. This can lead to lack of concentration, work or traffic accidents, job inefficiency, and social problems.
Sleep apnea can be seen in any age group. It is most common in middle-aged and overweight men. Its incidence is higher in cases obstructing the upper respiratory tract, those with a lower jaw, overweight, alcohol and cigarette addicts, thyroid patients, allergy medications, muscle relaxants or sedatives.
It is usually seen in children due to large tonsils and adenoids.
The definitive diagnosis of sleep apnea is made with a sleep test called polysomnography. Since there is a high probability of having problems in more than one region in patients with sleep apnea, all patients should be evaluated with a detailed ear, nose and throat examination and sleep endoscopy before the operation, the problematic areas and the content of the problems should be determined, and the treatment should be planned accordingly.
In the treatment, weight loss, treatment if there is a metabolic disease, avoidance of active drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, intraoral appliances that pull the chin and tongue forward, and a suitable lying position are recommended. If the problem persists despite all this, different surgical techniques are applied to the nose, soft palate, uvula and tongue root regions, either alone or together. Today, the newest and most effective surgical treatment is robotic sleep apnea surgery.
Patients who do not benefit from the treatment or who have severe sleep apnea are given devices that keep the airway open by giving compressed air through the nose during sleep, called PAP.