Snoring can be irritating, not only to a healthy sleeping pattern but to others around you as well. You might not even be aware of your snoring at night, but it can affect your quality of sleep, leading to daytime symptoms and affecting your performance. An ENT specialist at Alabama Ear, Nose, & Throat can determine the cause of your snoring and help you get the treatment you need for better sleep and well-being.
Snoring occurs when the tongue and the muscles in your throat relax, which leads to the airway becoming narrower. When you take a breath in, the throat vibrates, generating the sound of snoring. The narrower the air pathway becomes, the louder the snoring can be.
Snoring is more likely to occur in older individuals since our throat muscles become more relaxed as we grow older. Other factors can cause snoring, so a consultation with one of our ENT specialists is necessary for proper diagnosis. Some factors include obstructed nasal passages, sleep positions, obesity, swollen tonsils, medications, or a deviated septum. In some cases, loud snoring can be associated with sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder, so properly diagnosing your snoring is very important.
Most individuals don’t know they have a snoring problem, especially if they don’t sleep with anyone else. Although some signs and symptoms may suggest snoring, such as daytime sleepiness, headaches, waking up throughout the night, and a decrease in concentration. If you experience any of these symptoms or have been told your snoring is a nuisance, consult with Alabama Ear, Nose, & Throat Specialists today to determine treatment options for you. A specialist can discuss your symptoms and might recommend a sleep study to monitor your sleeping habits. Determining the severity of your snoring will help you get the treatment you need.
Depending on a physical examination and testing conducted by our ENT specialists, treatment options may vary. For milder cases, changes in lifestyle might be enough. These include:
- Sleep position (avoid sleeping on your back)
- Avoiding alcohol
- Decongestants to open the airway
- Weight loss
For more severe cases or sleep apnea, surgical options might be recommended using a small gadget to open the airway and allow continuous breathing while you’re sleeping. Patients might also benefit from a snore guard, a custom device that fits over the teeth to pull the lower jaw forward. Your ENT specialist will determine the best course of treatment based on the severity of your snoring.
If you suffer from distressing snoring and want to find a solution, contact us today for diagnosis and explore your treatment options.