Source : Europe1
“Often it is the spouse or spouse who sends the snorer or snorer for consultation,” says Patrick Faulcon, ENT doctor at Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris. Because these parasitic noises from our sleep can reach 80 to 90 decibels, or… “the equivalent of a moped when starting up”! Guest of Sans Rendez-vous, Tuesday on Europe 1, the specialist gave some advice to deal with snoring, sometimes sources of great tension in couples or revealing more serious health problems.
Tell yourself that you are not alone
You should not first feel “guilty” or be ashamed, insists Patrick Faulcon. “Nearly 20 to 30% of people in a population have habitual snoring and more than 50% have occasional snoring, after a mild cold or after a possibly drunken evening”: so you are not alone .
You should also know that the risk that you snore depends on several factors, including your age: between 30 and 40 years old, 80% of snorers are men, but this proportion is balanced around 50 years old. Menopause indeed leads to “a drop in estrogen levels and tissue tone, especially the muscles of the pharynx and neck”, according to the ENT doctor. In general, the older you get, the more likely you are to snore, for the same reasons of “loose” muscles.
Smoking and drinking less, especially at night
What if you are one of those people who are blamed by their significant other for preventing them from sleeping? Patrick Faulcon gives a first piece of advice: take a close look at your lifestyle. Tobacco, for example “creates an inflammation of the ENT mucosa” and promotes snoring. “When you enter a room, even being a non-smoker, you often have your nose clogged”, illustrates the ENT.
Vigilance, also, with alcohol: it creates “hypotonicity of the muscles, in particular of the muscles of the neck and the soft palate”. And can therefore make you snore! To remedy this, the specialist suggests drinking less, “particularly at dinner”.
Pay attention to his weight
Another factor comes up regularly in patients seen by the doctor: overweight. “It causes thickening of the walls of the neck and tongue.” A fatty infiltration which will “create a narrowing of the aerial sector and promote snoring”, details Patrick Faulcon. However, according to the specialist, small efforts can lead to big improvements: “two or three kilos can make a difference”.
Do not hesitate to consult
Once you have asked yourself these questions and possibly tried to improve your lifestyle, the ENT message is simple: do not hesitate to consult. “Snoring can rob a partner of one to two hours of sleep, causing them to wake up all the time, but there are some fairly simple ways to make things better”.
In addition to a questionnaire on your lifestyle habits, a specialist doctor will give you a complete examination, in particular checking the size of the tonsils and the “soft palate”, an organ located at the back of the throat, which vibrates and causes snoring when we inhale air. “The more the air is accelerated by obstacles, the more the veil will vibrate and the greater the intensity of the snoring will be”. A professional will be able to identify a deviated nasal septum, but also chronic rhinitis, for example, and try to remedy it.
An ENT can also give you simple advice, such as avoiding lying on your back to sleep, because “the tongue will move back 2-3 mm and block the passage of air”. To stick to it, the specialist recommends hanging… a tennis ball on the back of your t-shirt! “As soon as you get on your back, it hurts and instinctively you will reposition yourself on your side”.
Watch out for possible sleep apnea
If snoring can affect the balance of the couple, it can also be a symptom of a more serious problem: sleep apnea. “Cumulated over one night, patients can sometimes not breathe for 1 hour or 1h30”, says Patrick Faulcon. “This results in a drop in oxygen in the blood and an acceleration of the heart, which then does not rest enough, neither day nor night”. A phenomenon that multiplies by “seven or ten” the risk of cardiovascular disease.
However, only “15 to 20%” of the French people concerned would be screened, according to the ENT. To be sure that you are not one of them, be vigilant for the following signs: great fatigue in the morning, even after a night of 10 or 11 hours, a strong propensity to fall asleep during the day, headaches on waking, irritability and possibly a decrease in libido.Continue your reading
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