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Snoring causes and treatment

Snoring – in other words – noisy breathing while you sleep can affect anyone irrespective of age and gender. However, it is common in men and obese people. Snoring once in a while is not a big issue, but long-term and persistent snoring is a serious health issue as it not only disturbs your own sleep patterns but also the sleep of your partner. Apart from hurting your own sleep quality, it can also lead to some serious health issues in the long run.

What are the causes of snoring?

Snoring mostly occurs when your nose gets blocked and the flow of air is through your mouth. There are many factors that can block the flow of air including the following:

Blocked nose: If you have sinusitis, it can lead to a blocked nose and nasal congestion due to blocked nasal airways. If you are prone to allergies, your sinusitis can get worse during the allergy season. Frequent sinus infections and chronic sinusitis are prominent causes of a blocked nose. Nasal polyps and a deviated septum can also cause blockage of nasal airways.

A long soft palate or Uvula can narrow the opening from your nose to the throat. If you have this condition, your breathing causes vibration of these structures that block your airways.

Bulky throat tissue – obese people have this problem – and also, some children have enlarged adenoids and tonsils that make them snore.

Weak muscles in your throat and tongue:  If you have poor muscle tone in your tongue and throat, they relax and let your tongue collapse into your airways.

Drugs and Alcohol abuse: Excessive alcohol intake and drug use can make your tongue and throat muscles to relax too much leading to airway obstruction and snoring.

Sleep deprivation can also lead to too much relaxation of throat muscles leading to snoring and insomnia.

When should you see an ENT Specialist?

You can consider seeing a specialist doctor if you feel sleepy during the day due to excessive and persistent snoring throughout the night. If your partner notices that you snore very often and loudly and also stop breathing completely in between.

You might need medical help so you (and your loved ones) can get a good night’s sleep.

Is it possible to prevent snoring?

Avoiding alcohol consumption close to bedtime, losing weight, quitting smoking, stress management and sleeping on your side can help control snoring.

What is the treatment for snoring?

Snoring causes and treatment: To prevent your tongue and soft palate from obstructing your airways, your ENT doctor may recommend the use of a plastic device in your mouth. It is known as a mouth device or mouth guard. It helps in keeping your airways open by moving your tongue or jaw.

CPAP: A continuous positive airway pressure machine treats sleep apnea and might reduce snoring by blowing air into your airways while you sleep. This is the best option to manage sleep apnea.

APAP, BiPAP, and CPAP devices are the most effective machines to resolve snoring and sleep apnea.

Bottom Line

If you are a habitual snorer with persistent and loud snoring, then you must seek medical care as early as possible. Long-term and frequent snoring can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke and make you prone to other serious health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Chronic snoring – which is a long-term health issue for many people is the most prominent sign of a serious sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). A variety of non-surgical and surgical treatment approaches are available to stop or reduce snoring and treat sleep apnea. To know which one is the best option in your case, meet Dr. Neetu Modgil.

Learn more about snoring causes and treatment of Sleep Apnea

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