Snoring not only disturbs your sleep partner, but it can also be a symptom of a serious medical condition if left untreated.
Why Do People Snore When They Sleep?
People snore when they sleep because they are unable to pass air freely from the nose to the throat. This restriction causes the tissues inside the airway to vibrate, and the vibrations cause snoring noises.
Snoring happens for a variety of reasons. Not all causes are from underlying medical conditions, which can include:
- Drinking alcohol
- Taking certain drugs
- Weight gain
- Sleeping on your back
However, if you snore frequently, it can be due to an underlying health condition. Common health conditions that can contribute to snoring include:
- Deviated septum
- Narrow airways
- Soft palate issues
- Sleep apnea
- Snoring can have serious health consequences if left untreated.
What Are Some Health Risks Associated with Snoring and Sleep Apnea?
- A greater risk of high blood pressure and heart conditions
- A higher risk of stroke
- An increased risk of narrowing of the neck’s blood vessels- carotid atherosclerosis which can increase plaque formation inside these blood vessels.
Other risks to your quality of life due to snoring can include:
- Increased frustration/anger due to sleep deprivation
- Daytime sleepiness that can put you at increased risk for injuries and motor vehicle accidents
- Difficulties concentrating that can impact your job or school performance
Are There Any Treatments Available to Help with Your Snoring?
The good news is you can consult with your sleep doctor on the following treatments to cut down or eliminate your snoring:
- Oral appliance: A non-invasive snoring solution is to wear an oral appliance while you sleep. A custom oral mouth device is designed and created for your special anatomical shape. You wear it while you sleep to stop the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues at the back of your throat, keeping your airways open.
- Balloon Sinuplasty: This is a minimally-invasive procedure for snoring that opens blocked sinus cavities. The procedure is performed in-office, on an outpatient basis, and it takes less than 30 minutes using local anesthesia.
- Pillar® Procedure: This procedure is minimally invasive, and it’s also done in-office in about a half hour under local anesthesia. Small implants are surgically placed in the soft palate to make it stiffer. The added stiffness cuts down on the intensity and volume of snoring that’s caused by soft palate vibrations.
- Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS): This is an outpatient procedure where your sleep doctor inserts a tiny fiber optic telescope, called an endoscope, into the sinus openings. Then your doctor removes small amounts of tissue and/or bone that’s causing blockages in the nasal passages, which can contribute to excessive snoring. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, and most patients go home the same day.
- Septoplasty surgery: This procedure, done on an outpatient basis in a surgery center, fixes a deviated septum (nasal cavity). A deviated septum can cause a smaller or totally blocked nasal cavity that contributes to chronic snoring. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes less than an hour.
If you are suffering from chronic snoring, it can affect your overall health and quality of life. Make an appointment today at eos sleep with one of our board-certified sleep specialists. We are dedicated to finding the most effective treatment for your snoring.