Treatment for snoring and sleep disorders usually depends on the severity of the condition and whether patients are experiencing apnea or simple snoring.
What are the most common causes of snoring?
Snoring is the result of a narrowing of the upper airway during sleep, which can be attributed to:
- Large tonsils.
- A soft palate, a long uvula or excessive loose issue at the throat.
- Nasal problems, such as chronic congestion caused by a deviated septum.
- Obstructive sleep apnea, a serious condition in which throat tissue partially or fully blocks your airway during sleep, obstructing breathing repeatedly throughout the night.
How does AAENT diagnose the cause of snoring?
Our providers begin with an examination of the upper airway to determine both the site of airway collapse and ensure that there are no other medical problems responsible for a patient’s snoring. Possible sites of obstructions are the nose, tonsils, soft palate and uvula, tongue, and voice box. They may also recommend a home or in-lab sleep study.
How does AAENT treat snoring?
Treatment depends on the underlying cause, but may entail:
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, a surgical procedure to tighten flabby tissues in the throat and palate, and expand air passages.
- Correction of a deviated septum or other nasal obstruction.
- An oral appliance worn while sleeping.
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which is a pressurized mask worn over the nose during sleep for patients whose snoring is due to obstructive sleep apnea.
Are there self-care methods that the AAENT providers can suggest to alleviate snoring?
If sleep apnea or other significant medical problem are not the cause of snoring, you may likely be able to remedy the behavior by:
- Losing weight, if necessary
- Stopping smoking
- Sleeping on your side
- Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption
- Using over-the-counter nasal strips