What is Snoring?
The importance of sleep to our overall health is critical. Getting that deep restorative sleep prevents many health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, depression, and injuries. Deep sleep can also affect us socially and romantically. Snoring can ruin relationships and create separate sleeping arrangements. 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. Far from being just a nuisance, snoring can cause the following problems:
- Marital issues.
- Poor sleep quality for the person that snores.
- 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 plate and uvula.
- Large tonsils.
- Large tongue.
Some common sleep hygiene issues include:
- Poor sleep hygiene such as going to bed too tired.
- Alcohol or eating food before bed.
- Sleeping flat on your back.
- Sedating drugs such as valium or antihistamines.
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.
Dangers of untreated snoring:
- Daytime performance.
- Increases the risk of accidents.
- Worsen relationships.
- Lead to medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack, and dementia.
When snoring is more severe it is frequently associated with a pause in breathing all together which is called obstructive sleep apnea.