Snoring is a common problem for many, including adults and even children. However snoring can be a sign of other major health complications. Up to 45 percent of American adults snore and 25 percent do so on a regular basis. Snoring is more common in men than women and can worsen with age. Snoring can not only affect the quality of sleep of the person snoring, but also the quality of sleep of their loved ones and other family members.
WHAT CAUSES SNORING?
Snoring can be the result of several factors. Typically, snoring is caused by the relaxing of the muscles and soft tissues in the throat and mouth, which constricts the air passage. This decrease in airway space makes it more difficult for each breath to pass through to the lungs. As the air passes over the reduced volume in the soft tissues within the throat it causes a vibration that results in the snoring sound. It has been suggested that on one end of the spectrum snoring could be considered primary or simple snoring while on the other end snoring could be associated with a condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea or the restriction in the upper airway. Colds and allergies can worsen snoring because of the development of nasal congestion and swelling within the throat. Sometimes, your mouth’s anatomy can cause a person to snore. People with enlarged tissues and tonsils that restrict airflow generally produce mild snores. Being overweight can also cause snoring because of excess fat buildup on your neck that constricts the airway when you lie down.
According to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, enlarged tonsils are often the underlying cause for children to snore. The goal for removing tonsils and adenoids is to have the child revert to nasal breathing but unfortunately only 25% of these surgeries result in cessation of mouth breathing. The child with this condition may show signs of inattention, hyperactivity, sleepiness, or other behavioral problems during the day, due to a lack of sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Medicine is clear in their position paper that if a child snores or makes other noises such as grinding of teeth then this would call for a sleep study. Other causes of snoring may include excess body weight, alcohol consumption, certain sleep aides or sedatives, upper airway restriction syndrome(UARS). Frequent snoring increases your chances of experiencing:
• sleepiness during the day
• difficultly concentrating
• vehicle accidents due to drowsiness
• hypertension or high blood pressure
• heart disease
• relationship conflicts
How Is Snoring Treated?
The treatment will depend on the cause of your snoring. Our Centre doesn’t recommend over-the-counter devices for snoring because the literature suggest that a high percentage that may have undiagnosed sleep apnea will experience even a greater number of apnea events by using these devices.
Common professional treatments might include:
• FDA certified dental orthotics to position your tongue and soft palate to maintain open airway
• A variety of different surgeries are available but many times leaves the patient wanting and not getting proper resolution of the problem
• Laser treatment (NightLase) to tighten the soft tissues within the palate and and pharyngeal walls has proved to be very successful treatment with minimal side effects
If you find that these issues have affected your life or others within your family please allow us to be a part of the treatment. Call (480)248-7788