Chronic snoring is a problem that thousands of people suffer from. When sleeping, the affected patient will make a very hoarse noise when breathing, and can vary in levels of loudness. This condition is especially challenging for those who sleep with a partner or share a room with others, as it can often keep everybody in the room awake. Snoring can be caused by a variety of conditions, so seeking an ear nose throat specialist is helpful to understand what is causing the issue, in order to reduce the symptom of snoring.
One common cause of snoring is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when the airway in the throat is restricted or in some cases blocked during sleep. When this blockage occurs, the affected person may either snore or stop breathing entirely. Sleep apnea can occur at any age, but commonly found in elderly and obese patients. Treatment options can vary, but commonly a CPAP machine can be used. The CPAP ensures that breathing continues throughout the night normally and the effects of sleep apnea are negated. Consulting an ear nose throat doctor will provide information in the assessment and the treatment of sleep apnea.
Seeking an ear nose throat specialist will help determine the cause of the snoring, because some other possible causes could be enlarged tonsils and adenoids. A proper consultation would help determine this, and if removal is a possible solution. This procedure takes about 30 minutes, and has a recovery time of approximately one week. There may also be some congestion issues or nasal problems causing the snoring, for which the ENT may treat medically. If there is low muscle tone in the mouth or tongue, this also may be narrowing the airway and causing snoring issues. These physical issues are something that the ENT will be able to determine and rule out during an appointment.
Patients who suffer from chronic snoring may also undergo lifestyle changes to alleviate their symptoms. If a patient has a high BMI (body mass index), losing weight may provide some relief to the symptoms. In addition, a change in sleeping position could provide some relief as well. Certain sleeping positions are more conducive to a reduction in airflow than others, so patients may want to explore this natural option. Another thing to consider, is that anytime a patient engages in an activity that affects breathing such as smoking, there is a greater chance that symptoms of snoring will appear. Because of the harmful effect that smoking has on one’s ability to breathe properly for the throat and lungs, it can cause snoring at night. If simple lifestyle changes are not enough to alleviate symptoms, patients should consider seeing an ear nose throat specialist who will be able to evaluate and provide a proper diagnosis for the condition that is causing the snoring.
Chronic snoring is an unpleasant thing to have to deal with for everybody, the patient themselves and the people that they sleep with. It can cause fatigue and low energy. However, it is very treatable and underlying causes can be identified through testing. By working with a ear nose throat specialist, patients will be able to identify the exact cause of the condition so a treatment plan can be put in place. Certain lifestyle adjustments can be made to alleviate symptoms as well, and recommendations can also be made by a specialist. Through a combination of lifestyle changes and working with an ENT physician, chronic snoring is something that can certainly be treated. If you would like more information specific to your lifestyle and needs for snoring, contact Commonwealth ENT to meet with our ear nose throat physician.