How to Stop Snoring
Consider the facts: 1 out of every 4 people in the United States snores regularly. Now, add partners who share the same bed and other occupants of the household who can hear loud snoring from other rooms. Snoring affects a huge portion of the population, and it can substantially weaken sleep health and overall health of those it affects.
Snoring is the body’s way of telling you that something isn’t working correctly and your sleep isn’t as efficient as it should be. It is important for snorers to visit an experienced ear, nose and throat physician to determine the cause of their snoring and to begin treatment.
What causes snoring?
Snoring occurs when there is an obstruction of airflow through passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This causes negative air pressure, which leads to vibrations of the soft tissue, creating sound associated with snoring.
The main factors that contribute to snoring include:
- Structure of the mouth, such as a thick soft palate or an enlarged uvula can narrow airway passages and cause airway obstructions. Large tonsils or a large tongue may also cause an obstruction and snoring.
- Nasal congestion can play a significant role in your snoring. A deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, nasal polyps or enlarged adenoids can all obstruct airflow.
- Being overweight can play a role in your snoring, especially extra weight around the neck, which can narrow your airway and make it difficult to breathe.
- Alcohol consumption and eating late at night can relax the muscles in the throat, making obstruction and snoring more likely.
What are the symptoms of snoring?
Snoring is a medical condition depriving the body of appropriate rest. Symptoms that indicate snoring include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Trouble concentrating
- Irregular heartbeat
- Sore throat
- Restless sleep
- High blood pressure
- Gasping or choking during sleep
Unfortunately, snoring often impacts others as well. Snoring can disrupt the sleep of loved ones, placing strain on relationships and driving partners to sleep in separate rooms.
Can I treat my snoring without surgery?
The good news is that for many people snoring can be treated with minimally invasive procedures that are routinely performed in an office setting, allowing patients to return to normal activities the same day. Treatment options depend on the source of your obstruction(s).
If your snoring is minor or of a casual nature, you may be able to take some steps to improving it through lifestyle or activity modifications. The following may help your snoring:
- Starting in the nose – Treat your nasal congestion and allergies before they become too severe.
- Avoid alcohol, sleeping aids and eating late at night – If you have trouble sleeping at night, try increasing your activity rate during the day.
- Sleeping on your side – When sleeping on your back, your tongue can fall back into the airway and cause obstruction.
- Diet and exercise – Reducing extra body weight can improve symptoms for many people.
Who is a candidate for a minimally invasive office procedure?
If the tips outlined above don’t have a positive effect on your snoring, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive office procedure.
Is snoring life-threatening?
For many chronic snorers, the snoring may be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). There is strong evidence that OSA increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack. It can also increase your chances of dying early.
It’s important to know that snoring can be a sign that something is wrong. Your health and quality of life can be seriously impacted if OSA is left undiagnosed and untreated.
What doctor is best for treating snoring?
An otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) who specializes in treating sleep patients can provide you with a wide range of treatment options that are specific to your condition and needs. The board certified experts at eos sleep tailor snoring and sleep apnea treatments to address the root causes and the patient’s needs.
If you or a bed partner are suffering from snoring, the first step toward relief is consulting with an experienced ear, nose, and throat doctor. Specialists at eos sleep have extensive experience in sleep medicine. Our practice offers a wide variety of minimally invasive snoring treatment options, customized to fit your personal needs. Call 1-800-EOS-SLEEP today or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment or to learn more about snoring treatment options.