According to The American Academy of Otolaryngology, about 45 percent of adults snore occasionally. Though snoring can affect anyone, it is most common in men and people who are overweight. Snoring once and awhile is perfectly normal, but snoring on a regular basis can disrupt both your sleep patterns and the sleep patterns of those around you.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is caused when air cannot flow through the back of the throat and the nose freely. The obstruction causes the noisy, vibrating sounds of snoring. The air flow can be obstructed for a variety of reasons, such as:
- The Anatomy of your Mouth – Anatomical reasons, such as a low palate, poor muscle tone in the throat, poor muscle tone in the tongue and narrow airways can cause snoring.
- Obstruction of Nasal Airways – About 20 percent of people who snore only snore during allergy seasons or when they have a cold or sinus infection. Having a deviated septum or nasal polyps can also cause the nasal airway to have an obstruction.
- Alcohol Consumption – Drinking alcohol before sleep can relax your throat muscles and decrease your defenses against airway obstruction.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea – OSA is the most serious cause of snoring. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is when airway obstruction during sleep results in short periods of time where the snorer stops breathing. OSA is often linked to sleep deprivation, heart attack, irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure.
Snoring Treatment in New York City
To treat snoring, an ENT doctor may recommend the following options:
- Mouthpieces – Oral appliances help advance the position of the tongue and soft palate to keep the air passage open.
- Continuous positive airway pressure – CPAP is an approach the involves wearing a pressurized mask over the nose while sleeping. The mask is attached to a pump that forces air through your airway. CPAP is a treatment for both snoring and sleep apnea.
- Pillar procedure – In this procedure, doctors inject polyester filament into your soft palate. This stiffens the soft palate and reduces snoring substantially.
- Nasal strips – Nasal strips help increase the area of the nasal passage.
Contact Dr. Stacey Silvers in New York City for information on treating snoring.