The Snoring Spectrum: Snoring sound intensity levels

In: Snoring

19 Aug 2014

We have shown that women do not snore as loudly as men. The difference between the mean Leq value for men and women was 3.0 dBA, which translates into a substantially higher sound intensity perception for the listener. This gender effect on snoring sound during sleep was independent of the severity of sleep-disordered breathing and body mass. Women also had lower peak intensity values. For example, men presented L1 values that were 2.7 dBA louder than those for women. This finding stands in contrast to data from Metes et al, who reported that there was no difference in the maximal snoring sound intensity levels between 77 women and 293 men who were studied prospectively during sleep. It is not clear what accounts for this difference in results. Clearly, there were differences in the methods used to measure snoring sound intensity. Our data were based on the complete distribution of sound intensity over time, and Metes et al used the maximal snoring sound intensity reported during the recording period.
Similar to Metes et al, we did not find a strong relationship between age and snoring sound intensity levels. Stoohs et al showed that snoring sound intensity levels can be a measure of respiratory effort. One may hypothesize that age would have a negative effect on maximal negative inspiratory pressure generated during the obstructed respiratory effort associated with snoring. This hypothesis was not adequately tested with the analyses reported here. Further analysis of the relationship between the loudest observed sound intensity levels and age is needed.
A very significant difference in sound intensity was noted between apneic and nonapneic snoring patients in detail flovent inhalers. The Leq and the peak values for L1 and L5 were more than 5 dBA louder for apneic snoring patients with an RDI of a 10 than they were for nonapneic snoring patients with an RDI of < 10. This observation corresponds to data from Hoffstein and colleagues who studied pharyngeal function and snoring characteristics in apneic and nonapneic snoring subjects. This finding is consistent with the increased negative inspiratory pressures generated in patients who exhibit complete upper airway obstruction during sleep. Higher intraluminal negative pressures present upon the resumption of breathing in apneic snoring patients lead to higher inspiratory flow rates, turbulent flow, and higher forces on the vibrating structures in the upper airway, resulting in higher sound intensity levels.

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