What is Snoring?
Snoring refers to the noisy sounds resulting from an obstruction in your air passages, while you sleep. Snoring is a common condition. About 45% Americans snore occasionally while 25% of us snore habitually. Even though it is considered nothing more than a nuisance by most people, snoring may be indicative of obstructed breathing. Timely diagnosis and treatment from an experienced otolaryngologist is essential.
If you or a loved one has been experiencing the symptoms of trouble Snoring, do not hesitate to call us at 440-352-1474 to set up an appointment with a board-certified ENT Doctor in Concord, Willoughby, or Madison.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is caused by obstruction to the flow of air through your nose and mouth. The obstruction leads to vibration of the part of your airway where the tongue and upper throat meet your uvula and soft palate, resulting in snoring. Some of the common causes of the airflow obstruction and the consequent snoring are as follows:
- Poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat allowing the tongue to fall backwards into your airway
- Large or inflamed tonsils and adenoids in children
- Narrowing of the airway from the excessive soft tissues around the neck or cysts and tumors
- Long soft palate or uvula
- Obstructed or stuffed nasal airways resulting from hay fever, cold, sinus infection as well as nasal deformities like deviated septum or nasal polyps
What are the Symptoms of Snoring?
Loud and irritating sleep noise is not the only thing to worry about with snoring. Snoring may be a sign of more complicated underlying health issues like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea refers to the multiple episodes of breathing pauses during your sleep resulting from upper air way narrowing or collapse. Less oxygen goes into your blood, the heart has to work harder and your sleep is disturbed. Your quality of life may seriously be affected. If your snoring is accompanied with sleep apnea, following symptoms may present themselves:
- Breathing pauses during sleep
- Frequent waking from sleep
- Light sleep/Lack of restorative deep sleep
- Fatigue or drowsiness during the day
- Daytime sleepiness
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
What are the Risk Factors for Snoring?
Some of the notable risk factors for snoring are as under:
- Sex- men are more likely to snore than women
- Age- young kids with swollen tonsils or adenoids may snore; older people are at greater risk as well
- Weight- snoring is more likely to occur in overweight people
When Should I see a Doctor?
If your snoring is causing fatigue and drowsiness and affecting your ability to drive or perform your job adequately, you should consult an ENT specialist to seek effective treatment for snoring.
How is Snoring Diagnosed?
Your snoring doctor will use following diagnostic methods to find out the underlying cause of your snoring:
- He/she may ask you to give a detailed account of your symptoms
- The doctor may ask you questions about your eating patterns, medications you take and whether your drink or smoke
- A physical exam to look for signs of allergies or infections
- A thorough examination of your nose, mouth, throat, palate and neck using a fiber optic scope
- He/she may also look for any signs of nasal, mouth or throat deformities
- A sleep study may help diagnose snoring caused by obstructive sleep apnea
How is Snoring Treated?
Effective treatment of snoring may not only help you keep further complications at bay, it may also eradicate the cause or your bed-partner’s sleepless nights. If your snoring is mildly irritating and is not caused by a serious underlying condition, following simple treatment options may help:
- Nasal strips or nasal support devices to dilate your nasal passages
- Medications and sprays to decrease nasal congestion
However, for more effective management or cure of snoring following treatments may be necessary:
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): It is one of the most effective ways to control your snoring. It involves wearing a mask-like device when you sleep that opens the airway with a small amount of positive pressure. This nasal/facial mask or device does not breath for your, just a little assistance inhaling and keeping your airway passage does the trick.
Injection Snoreplasty: In this treatment method a chemical is injected into your soft palate to stiffen it up. This results in decreased vibration and snoring. The procedure is done under local anesthesia and along with Palatial Implants and radiofrequency, is one of the best ways to treat snoring caused by soft palate.
Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy: This is one of the best ways to cure snoring in children.
Nasal Surgery: If your snoring is caused by nasal obstructions like polyps, septal deviation or turbinate hypertrophy, surgeries like radiofrequency turbinate reduction (RFTR), Septoplasty and poly removal may be necessary.
Snoring can negatively affect the quality of your life causing many social and medical problems. If you or a loved one has been experiencing the symptoms of trouble Snoring, do not hesitate to call us at 440-352-1474 to set up an appointment with a board-certified ENT Doctor in Concord, Willoughby, or Madison.
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