Whether it’s due to the common cold, seasonal allergies, or sinus trouble, snoring is an unconscious act that is hard to identify in yourself. If you regularly snore at night, it can disrupt the quality of your sleep and lead to some serious health problems. Snoring occurs when air can’t move freely through your nose and throat during sleep, causing the surrounding tissues to vibrate and produce sound. Common causes of snoring include nasal and sinus problems, alcohol consumption, smoking or vaping, medications, and sleep posture.
Snoring tends to increase with age and weight; older and/or overweight individuals are more likely to be at risk for sleep apnea. If you are unsure of what is causing your snoring but don’t think it is serious enough to see a doctor, at-home remedies and lifestyle changes are a great first step to reduce snoring. However, it is always strongly recommended that you see a doctor to check out the severity of your snoring. Sometimes, you may not know just how bad it is.
- Change your sleeping position so that the head and neck are elevated
- Sleep on your side instead of your back
- Clear your stuffy nose before you sleep (try nasal decongestants or aromatherapy)
- Try an anti-snoring mouthpiece
- Use a humidifier regularly in the room you sleep in
- Lose weight
- Quit smoking (vaping is not a safe alternative)
- Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills
- Don’t eat large meals or drink anything besides water right before bed
- Exercise regularly
If you’ve tried many of these strategies but still snore, feel fatigued during the day, gasp or choke at night, or have high blood pressure, you may be suffering from a more serious issue called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a severe form of snoring that causes a person to stop breathing for a short period during sleep due to an obstruction in the airway. There are many causes, but fortunately, there are also many solutions.
Breathe Sinus offers 5 different treatments for obstructive sleep apnea that can help to reduce or eliminate your snoring.
Pillar/ Palatal Implants
The Pillar Treatment is designed to fix looseness in the palate tissue. In the back of the roof of the mouth, there is a soft palate and a hard palate. Sometimes, the soft palate is too loose which causes the tissue to flutter during the night, resulting in snoring. During this treatment, Dr. Patel inserts three polyester implants into the soft palate. This, in combination with the body’s natural scarring response, causes the palate to stiffen. With the palate permanently stiffened, patients experience much fewer vibrations and a significant reduction in snoring. This procedure is done in-office under a local anesthetic and has long-term positive results.
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP or UP3)
The UP3 procedure (don’t worry, you won’t have to pronounce it) also focuses on palate tissue; specifically, the fleshy ball of tissue that hangs from the soft palate above the root of the tongue called the uvula. Some of the tissue will be removed and the uvula will be remodeled, improving airflow to the lungs. Also, some of the tissue will stiffen, making snoring less likely to occur.
Approximately 80% of people have a deviated septum, which is when the tissues that separate the left and right nasal passages are shifted to one side. This shift can cause partial obstruction of one of the nasal passages, leading to difficulty breathing on that side, as well as an increased risk of snoring. The Septoplasty is a common procedure that fixes deviated septums. During the procedure, any extra pieces of bone or cartilage are removed, the septum is straightened, and the mucous membrane is repositioned. With the obstruction fixed and the nasal passages cleared, snoring will be reduced or permanently stopped.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machine (CPAP)
CPAP machines are one of the most effective non-surgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea. The best part of this treatment is that it can be controlled right from the comfort of home. The machine consists of a headpiece that secures a tube around the nose and/or mouth (whatever is more comfortable for you). Throughout the night, while you are fast asleep, the machine blows filtered air into your airways. It works to keep the throat (or nose) fully open throughout the night, preventing breathing stoppages and eliminating snoring.
Breathe Sinus Procedure
If the cause of your snoring is due to chronic sinus infections, also called chronic sinusitis, the Breathe Sinus Procedure is a great treatment option. It uses a small, flexible balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways and facilitate drainage of mucus build-up. Along with relief from nasal congestion and uncomfortable sinus pressure, the balloon sinuplasty can stop your snoring as well. If you’re unsure if the cause of your snoring is sinus-related, see if the Breathe Sinus Procedure is right for you.
Snoring can be due to a variety of causes and determining which one is affecting you can be difficult. Not only that but finding the right treatment for you can be a difficult decision. If you are unsure what the cause of your snoring is, or if you want to explore these treatment options in detail, call Dr. Jack Patel from Breathe Sinus, Allergy, & Sleep at (219) 240-0346 or make an appointment online.