Snoring & Sleep Disorders
Possible Treatments for Snoring & Sleep Disorders
- Pillar Implant Procedure
- Radio Frequency Uvula & Palate Reduction
- Allergy & Immunotherapy
- Allergy Mitigation Practices
- Radio Frequency Turbinate Reduction
- Balloon Sinuplasty
45% percent of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 25% percent are habitual snorers. Males and people who are overweight have a higher percentage of snoring and sleep problems, and their problems usually worsens with age. Snoring may be an indication of obstructed breathing and should not be taken lightly. Our doctors can help you to determine where the anatomic source of your snoring may be, and offer solutions for this noisy, often embarrassing, and possibly dangerous disorder.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is characterized by multiple episodes of
breathing pauses greater than 10 seconds at a time, due to upper airway narrowing or collapse. This results in lower amounts of oxygen in the blood, which causes the heart to work harder. It also causes disruption of the natural sleep cycle, which makes people feel poorly rested despite adequate time in bed. Apnea patients may experience 30 to 300 such events per night.
The immediate effect of sleep apnea is that the snorer must sleep lightly and keep the throat muscles tense in order to keep airflow to the lungs. Because the snorer does not get a good rest, he or she may be sleepy during the day, which impairs job performance and makes him or her a hazardous driver or equipment operator. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of developing heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and many other medical problems.
People who snore may suffer from:
- Poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat: When muscles are too relaxed, the tongue falls backwards into the airway or the throat muscles draw in from the sides into the airway. Some relaxation is natural during deep sleep, but may become a problem if exacerbated by alcohol or drugs that cause sleepiness
- Excessive bulkiness of throat tissue: Children with large tonsils and adenoids often snore. Overweight people may have excess soft tissue in the neck that can lead to airway narrowing. Cysts or tumors are rare causes of airway narrowing.
- Long soft palate and/or uvula: A long palate narrows the opening from the nose into the throat. The excessive length of the soft palate and/or uvula acts as a noisy flutter valve during relaxed breathing.
- Obstructed nasal airways: A stuffy or blocked nose requires extra effort to pull air through it. This creates an exaggerated vacuum in the throat that pulls together the floppy tissues of the throat, and snoring results. So snoring may only occur during the hay fever season or with a cold or sinus infection. Also, deformities of the nose or nasal septum, such as a deviated septum (a deformity of the wall that separates one nostril from the other) can cause such an obstruction.