Hyderabad: Snoring may seem like a minor problem, but it has grown to be an epidemic. It not only affects health, but can destroy relationships.
This week a man travelling by train was beaten up by his fellow passengers and not allowed to sleep, because he snored too loudly. In India given the late working hours and other lifestyle stress like obesity, pollution etc, snoring has become a medical issue. But doctors say, not everyone who snores can be cured through surgery or medical aid.
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPPP (UP3) is a corrective surgical procedure for sleep apnea but it is effective only in 50 per cent of the patients. Those who have obstruction in the uvula and near the soft tissues, in addition to the tonsils, and also excess tissues in the neck have found it effective. For those who have obstructions in the nasal cavity or lower down at the base of the tongue, this surgery is not found to work.
Dr C. Vijay Kumar, senior pulmonologist and sleep disorder specialist at Apollo Hospitals explained that UPPP is not a surgery for all. “Unfortunately, we find many performing it on patients who later come back after a year with snoring issues again. There are other corrective surgeries which have to be performed depending on the reason for sleep apnea. It is important to consult a pulmonologist, neurologist, ENT surgeon and sleep specialist to understand the cause of sleep problems and decide on effective treatment,” he said.
Majority of them opt for UP3, a common surgery, which is found to be effective for those who have problem due to soft tissues and also obstruction of tonsils. But in those who have obstructions other than these two, this surgery does not help. Dr Srinivas Kishore, sleep specialist explained that 25 per cent of Asian population suffers from snoring due to their face structure as the soft tissues are found to load inside the skeleton. But all might not face the same condition.
“Snoring in diabetic, hypertensive and overweight people are due to different reasons. There can’t be a blanket treatment for all and the condition has to be treated according to the disease. In overweight people, we have found that losing minimal weight lessens snoring. In diabetics, a combination of medicines has to be worked from time to time to ensure proper sleep quality and also to handle snoring. Hence surgery is only for those where the problem persists despite medication,” Dr Kishore said.
Other surgeries for nasal and upper tract infections require expert evaluation and is carried on case to case basis.
There are 38 sleep related disorders and each one of them have separate prevalence rate. In urban India, we find that five to eight per cent of people suffer from sleep problems and they are night shift workers, suffering from co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and obesity and geriatric sleep problems. Snoring is found in children too when they have nasal blocks, nasal allergies and underlying disorders.
Snoring continuously requires evaluation as it causes marital and also social discomfort. Those who have continuous issues need to get evaluated for the exact cause which will help them deal with the problem in a better manner....