Thirty percent of adult males snore. Although initially amusing, it can gradually cause more and more problems from a social perspective; after all, you sleep with someone! It could also lead to medical issues like difficulty breathing or even heart disease due to the lack of oxygenation caused by your loud gasps for air every night.
You might not realize it, but if you’re snoring loudly and often enough to stop breathing for a few seconds every now and then, there’s probably something more serious going on with your health. If this happens frequently during the night–perhaps six or seven times an hour you may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Symptoms of OSA can include daytime fatigue, morning headaches in addition to difficulty concentrating at work as well as feeling worse when waking up than before bedtime. It is important that people who suspect they are suffering from OSA take steps towards confirming their suspicions by consulting their physician about diagnosis through a formal sleep study performed by an otolaryngologist specialist.
Snoring is caused by many factors, most of which are connected to the size and stiffness of your soft palate. The uvula sits near the back of your mouth; when you say “ahhh” it will rise in order for air to flow through more easily. Other anatomical features that may contribute include whether or not a crooked septum (a membrane dividing two passages) blocks airflow from one side while snores come out on other sides, an enlarged turbinates – the tissue at either end inside the nasal cavity- also causes obstruction, as well as tongue size, being too big for throat space.
Snoring is usually worse when you are sleeping on your back because the tongue blocks the throat, making it harder for air to escape through one’s nose and mouth. The muscles in that area can be less contracted due to fatigue or medication so they may not do as good a job of keeping things open while we sleep.
There are many treatments available for patients who snore. If you only snore when on your back, consider sewing a pocket onto the back of your pajamas and putting a tennis ball in it to keep yourself turned over one side. Avoiding excess alcohol can also help if this is what’s causing the problem (as well as sedative medication). Losing weight will often help with stopping snoring too.
Snoring is a common problem, and the good news about it is that there are many safe treatments for it. The sound from snoring comes from air rushing through your throat to cause an organ in your mouth called the uvula to flutter like a flag in the wind while you sleep. Treatments involve making stiffer this part of your anatomy with injection palatoplasty which takes around 30 minutes under local anesthesia just as a dentist would do – painless!
Our patients have been gratified to know about these simple procedures, which have helped them so much. Please give us a call at (901) 761-9720 and let us know if you would like additional information.