Don’t Snore Your Life Away
Snoring is annoying. It can ruin relationships, strain marriages and drive partners to sleep in separate rooms. But in reality, snoring can be more than just annoying. Recent research shows it is an alarm bell that should prompt snorers to visit their doctors immediately. Research conducted by otolaryngologists at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit has shown that snoring is a clear risk factor for stroke and heart attack. It is a bigger factor than smoking, high cholesterol or carrying too much weigh. As researchers Robert Deep and Karen Yaremchuck told Forbes Magazine, snoring can reveal damage to the carotid arteries and blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood to the brain.
The relaxed tissues in your throat vibrating as you breathe during sleep cause snoring. Sleep-disordered breathing can fall within a wide range of airway collapse, from primary snoring to profound obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that causes breathing to stop or slow down repetitively, as many as hundreds of times over the course of one night.
Snoring is a common issue that affects as many as half of all adults. Snoring can be caused by a number of factors. Being male, overweight or obese and having narrow airways all increase your likelihood of snoring. A long soft palate or large tonsils or adenoids can cause narrow airways. A family history of obstructive sleep apnea puts you at high risk. Alcohol is also a factor, as it relaxes throat muscles and makes them more likely to vibrate during sleep. People with structural problems in the nose, such as a deviated septum, and people who suffer from chronic nasal congestion are more likely to snore than people who do not have such issues.
Depending on what causes your snoring, you may experience excessive daytime sleepiness, noise during sleep, difficulty concentrating, restless sleep, sore throat, gasping and chocking in the night, high blood pressure and nighttime chest pain.
If you wake up choking and gasping, if your snoring becomes so loud as to disrupt your partner’s sleep or if you feel seriously tired during the day, it is imperative to see your doctor.
Easy remedies for snoring
In most people, a few easy measures can reduce snoring, provided there is no serious snoring problem or medical condition. If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help, but weight is not the only issue. Avoid alcohol and other sedatives close to your bedtime. Try sleeping on your side instead of on your back.
If your snoring problem is severe, or if these lifestyle changes fail to improve your snoring, your doctor may recommend oral appliances, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, non-surgical procedures or a number of types of surgery.
Removal of enlarged tonsils or adenoids
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are other options for treating snoring. They are especially useful for children, but can help relieve snoring in some adults as well. Both are inpatient surgical procedures performed under general anaesthesia.
A congested nose can be a cause or a contributory factor in snoring. Treating nasal congestion can improve snoring in some people.
The nose can become congested from many factors, including allegies, nasal polyps, a deviated septum and swollen nasal turbinates. Some of these conditions can be treated with steroidal nasal sprays and other allergy management strategies. A previous blog post on Functional Rhinoplasty explains how nose surgery can help alleviate congestion.
For more information
If you wish to find more information on how nose surgery can help improve snoring, or wish to make an appointment with Dr Marcells, please contact us on 1300 555 095. You can also use email or the ‘book consultation’ feature of this website to make an appointment.
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Meet Dr Marcells
MBBS (Syd), FRACS (ORL-HNS)
Past President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons
Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.