The Why and How of Snoring

Wonder Why You Snore?

snoring Have you ever wondered if you snore? Well, the one thing you can count on is if you do snore, you will definitely hear about it. People are much less polite when they are woken out of a deep sleep in the middle of the night because of the loud sounds you are making.

If you are a snorer in Houston, Texas you are not alone – 45 million Americans snore on occasion and 25 percent snore regularly. In order to figure out how to treat your snoring, you will first have to understand why it is happening.

When you sleep, your tongue, throat muscles and soft palate relax. If they relax too much, they can droop backward and block the airway, vibrating together when you breathe. This causes the noisy sounds associated with snoring. The more the airway is obstructed, the louder the snoring will be. In some individuals, the airway becomes so obstructed that breathing is interrupted; this leads to a serious medical condition known as sleep apnea. If this condition is left untreated it can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and even death.

There are a number of factors that increase the odds you will snore. Having a bulky throat tissue or an enlarged soft palate put you at more at risk for snoring. Those who experience frequent nasal congestion, have a deviated septum, nasal polyps, enlarged tonsils or adenoids as well as those who drink alcohol before bedtime are also at risk.

Bad news if you are an overweight male over the age of 40 – you win the most likely to snore award.

Ways to Treat Snoring

Now that we all understand what causes snoring we can focus on how to treat it.

If your snoring isn’t a complication of sleep apnea, some simple lifestyle changes can help eliminate the problem. These changes include:

  • Sleeping on your side instead of your back
  • Losing weight
  • Avoiding alcohol before bedtime
  • Treating allergies
  • Eliminating tobacco smoke
For some, these lifestyle changes are enough. The best ENT in Houston can help you figure out the next course of treatment. An oral appliance can be used to reposition your lower jaw as well as implementing the use of nasal breathing strips. If none of these work, surgery may be needed. The four most common procedures are:
  • Pillar Procedure. Polyester filament is injected into the soft palate to stiffen it and reduce snoring.
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). Excess throat tissue is surgically removed to enlarge the airway. This may include the uvula, soft palate, tonsils, adenoids and/or pharynx.
  • Laser Surgery. Lasers are used to remove the uvula and excess tissue from the soft palate.
  • Somnoplasty. Also known as radiofrequency tissue ablation, this procedure uses radio signals to shrink the tissue of the soft palate.

Snoring does not have to be a lifelong problem. Help your loved ones finally get the rest they deserve by scheduling an appointment with the best ENT in Houston.

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