What is snoring?
We are now much more aware of the importance of sleep to our overall health. Getting that deep restorative sleep prevents many health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, depression, and even automobile injuries.
Deep sleep also affects us socially, as the ability to be an attentive parent or an effective worker is dependent upon waking up restored and refreshed both physically and mentally. Even more important is how it affects us romantically, as snoring can ruin our relationships and create a separation at bedtime.
Snoring is resistance to airflow in the nose and throat that causes vibration of the soft tissue and an associated noise. It can be soft and infrequent or very loud and quite bothersome for the bed partner. Far from being just a nuisance, snoring can cause marital issues, poor sleep quality for the person that snores, and is associated with many health conditions such as hypertension and heart disease.
What causes snoring?
The main causes for snoring are located in the nose and throat. Any mechanical blockage of the nose will produce snoring. Some common nasal causes include the following:
- A deviated septum
- Chronic sinus issues
- Nasal polyps
- Swollen turbinates
Some common throat causes include:
- Redundant and floppy elongated soft palate and uvula
- Large tonsils
- Large tongue
Some common sleep hygiene issues include:
- Going to sleep too tired
- Alcohol or eating food before bed
- Sleeping flat on your back
- Sedating drugs such as Valium or antihistamines
When snoring is more severe it is frequently associated with a pause in breathing all together which is called obstructive sleep apnea. Fortunately, all of these issues can be addressed with modern minimally invasive office techniques that are successful for snoring as well as sleep apnea.
Snoring Treatment Patient Testimonial
Snoring treatment options
Snoring usually comes from issues in the nose and the throat. Any form of nasal congestion increases snoring. Think about a garden hose. If you place your thumb over the exit of the hose the water comes out faster and more turbulent. Anatomical obstruction in the nose will similarly cause the airflow to speed up and become more turbulent as it passes through the nose while the patient sleeps. This rapid turbulent air will reach the back of the nose and throat causing vibration and noise as it passes through on the way to the lungs.
A deviated septum, swollen turbinates, chronic sinus infection, nasal polyps, and nasal allergies are all common reasons for the nose to be congested. The treatment options offered for Snoring include:
- Balloon Sinuplasty
- Endoscopic Septoplasty
- Submucosal Turbinate Reduction
- Endoscopic Polyp Removal
- Soft Palate Tightening (UPPP)
- Traditional Surgical Therapies such as Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy
- Oral Appliances
At Sinus and Snoring Specialists, we have a state of the art office procedure room where we can correct these issues with the comfort of IV sedation. Typically a 15 minute office procedure is all that is needed to correct the issue causing your snoring and UARS. There is minimal recovery and patients usually can work the next day.
Commonly a balloon sinuplasty procedure is coupled with correction of any deviation of the nasal septum. Swollen turbinates are also reduced with a technique like liposuction. The soft palate can be addressed by trimming the uvula and injecting a stiffening agent. As snoring is mutifactorial sometimes an oral appliance is also needed to help hold the jaw and tongue forward at night and prevent tongue snoring. Weight loss can also help but there is a catch 22 with this issue. It turns out that snoring and obstructive sleep apnea cause hormonal changes that cause weight gain in the neck and belly. Weight gain in the neck and belly cause snoring and/or obstructive sleep apnea. They feed off each other and make the weight gain and snoring/obstructive sleep apnea worse over time. With our assistance in correcting the nasal and soft palate issues, along with an oral appliance when warranted, the patient finds it easier to lose weight and keep it off.
Dangers of Untreated Snoring
Poor sleep quality from snoring can affect daytime performance, increases the risk of accidents, worsen relationships, and lead to medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack, and dementia.