Conditions We Treat: Snoring
Snoring, a common condition affecting adults and children, can be a mere noisy inconvenience or a potential sign of something more serious such as a sleeping disorder. At ENT, Sinus & Hearing Care Center, our expert team can get to the bottom of your snoring issue and help you get back to better health.
What Is Snoring?
Snoring involves the noisy vibration of tissue in the throat when the airway is narrowed or partially blocked during sleep. The restriction on the flow of air causes the familiar — and often unpleasant — snoring sound. The volume of the snoring may vary based on the restriction of air within the windpipe.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring happens for a variety of reasons. It’s most commonly triggered by allergies or colds, which can create nasal congestion and inflammation within the throat. Excess weight can also lead to snoring due to increased buildup of fat within the neck, which can restrict the airways when lying on the back.
Sometimes the structure of the nose or mouth itself can lead to snoring. For example, enlarged tissues or tonsils, a deviated nasal septum, or an especially large or long uvula — the oval-shaped tissue that hangs at the rear of the roof of the mouth — may cause a restriction in airflow.
Snoring is closely linked with sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder. Sleep apnea involves repeated interruption of breathing during rest, due to airway blockage.
What Are Some Symptoms of Snoring?
Numerous symptoms are associated with snoring. Aside from the unpleasant or disruptive sound it often generates, snoring can yield other symptoms that also affect wellness and quality of life.
Some of these problems potentially include:
- Trouble concentrating
- Daytime drowsiness
- High blood pressure
- Sore throat
- Gaps in breathing during sleep
How Is Snoring Diagnosed?
Our ear, nose, and throat expert, Dr. Daniel S. Samadi, can perform a physical exam to assess whether the snoring is a result of potential abnormalities in the mouth. In mild cases, a physical exam is often all that is needed to determine the proper treatment.
If the snoring is severe, a diagnosis may require additional tests, such as:
- CT scans
How Is Snoring Treated?
Treatment for snoring depends on factors such as the severity, the underlying cause, and the age of the patient. Solutions can range from behavioral changes — for example, avoiding alcohol before sleeping, dropping excess weight, or sleeping on the side — to oral appliances or, in some circumstances, surgery.
Some surgical treatments focus on eliminating the airway obstruction. Procedures such as a septoplasty to address a deviated septum, for example, or an adenoidectomy or tonsillectomy to remove enlarged tissue may be recommended. Other procedures focus on stiffening the palate to help curb the snoring.
Because snoring may involve more than one cause, it may be necessary to adopt a combination of solutions — including lifestyle changes — to successfully address the issue. Dr. Samadi will work with you to determine the best approach for your specific needs.
If you or a loved one has a snoring issue, early intervention could make a big difference in your health and quality of life. So don’t wait. Contact our caring team to schedule a complete evaluation today. We’re here to help!