What is snoring and what is the best treatment for snoring?

Snoring is the hoarse or harsh sound that occurs when air flows past the relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe.

Almost everyone snores from time to time, but for some people it can be a chronic problem. Sometimes it can also indicate a serious health condition. In addition, snoring can be a nuisance to your partner.

Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol close to bedtime or sleeping on one side, can help alleviate snoring.

In addition, there are medical devices and surgeries that can be used as a treatment for snoring. However, they are not suitable or necessary for all people who snore.

What are the specific symptoms of snoring?

Snoring is often associated with a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Not all people who snore have OSA, but if snoring is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, it may be an indication to see a doctor for further evaluation:

  • Pauses in breathing during sleep;
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Headaches present in the morning;
  • Neck pain on waking;
  • Restless sleep;
  • Wheezing or choking sensations during sleep;
  • Increased blood pressure;
  • Chest pain present at night;
  • Snoring is so strong that it disturbs your partner’s sleep.

Snoring in the case of children

  • Reduced attention;
  • Behavioral problems or poor performance at school;
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children with Sleep Apnea Syndrome.

Obstructive sleep apnea is often characterized by loud snoring followed by periods of silence when breathing stops or slows down.

Eventually, this reduction or pause in breathing may signal the patient to wake up, with the patient waking up with a loud sigh or making a gasping sound.

You may sleep lightly due to interrupted sleep. This pattern of breathing pauses may be repeated many times during the night.

People with obstructive sleep apnea usually have periods when breathing slows or stops at least five times in every hour of sleep, so finding a treatment for snoring is absolutely necessary.

Deviated & Normal Nasal Septum

What causes snoring?

Snoring can be caused by a number of factors, such as mouth and sinus anatomy, alcohol consumption, allergies, colds and weight.

When you sleep and move from light to deep sleep, the muscles in the roof of the mouth (soft palate), tongue and throat relax. The tissues in the throat may relax enough to partially block the airway and vibrate.

The narrower the airway, the stronger the airflow becomes. This increases the vibration of the tissues, which makes the snoring grow louder. A snoring treatment is recommended.

Factors that can affect the airways and cause snoring to occur:

Mouth anatomy

People who have a low and thick soft palate may suffer from snoring, as this feature can narrow the airway. Overweight people may have extra tissue in the back of the throat, which can restrict their airway. Similarly, if the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula) is elongated, airflow can be obstructed, leading to snoring.

Alcohol consumption

Snoring can also be caused by excessive alcohol consumption, especially before bedtime. Alcohol has the ability to relax the throat muscles and lower the natural defenses against airway obstruction.

Nasal problems

Chronic nasal congestion or a crooked partition between the nostrils (deviated nasal septum) can contribute to snoring.

Sleep deprivation

Lack of sufficient sleep can lead to relaxation of the throat.

Sleeping position

snoring is usually most common and most severe in people who sleep on their back, as the effect of gravity on the neck narrows the airway.

What are the complications caused by snoring?

Regular snoring can be more than just a nuisance. Aside from disrupting a bed partner’s sleep, if snoring is associated with OSA, you may have an increased risk of developing other complications, including:

  • Daytime sleepiness;
  • Frequent snoring and anger;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • A higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke;
  • An increased risk of behavioral problems, such as aggression or learning problems in children;
  • An increased risk of car accidents due to lack of sleep.

Snore can cause

  • Increased risk of road accidents due to lack of sleep;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Increased blood pressure;
  • Shortness of breath during sleep.

How is snoring diagnosed?

Physical examination

To diagnose your condition, your doctor will look at your present signs and symptoms, as well as your medical history. The doctor will also carry out a physical examination on the basis of which he or she will recommend treatment for snoring.

Imaging

Your doctor may order an imaging test, such as an X-ray ultrasound, CT scan or MRI. These tests check the structure of the airway to detect various problems, such as a deviated septum.

Sleep study

Depending on the severity of your snoring and other symptoms present, your doctor may want to perform a sleep study. Sleep studies can sometimes be done at home.

However, depending on your other medical problems and other sleep symptoms, you may need to stay overnight to undergo a thorough sleep breathing study called a polysomnography.

During the sleep study, the following information is recorded:

  • Brain waves;
  • Blood oxygen level;
  • Heart rate;
  • Breathing rate;
  • Sleep stages;
  • Eye and leg movements.

Treatment methods for snoring

Frequent snoring can be more than just a nuisance. Recent studies have shown that frequent snoring with or without the onset of Sleep Apnea Syndrome can increase the risk of high blood pressure or stroke, which is why treatment for snoring is recommended as soon as possible.

Your doctor can give you some lifestyle change tips that can help relieve snoring. However, if snoring is not caused by influencing factors (alcohol consumption, obesity, sleeping on your back), but is influenced by various maxillofacial conditions, he or she may recommend various surgical procedures such as rhino-surgery or rhinoseptoplasty as a treatment method for snoring.

For example, in a procedure called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), you are given general anesthetic and the surgeon will tighten and cut away excess tissue in the neck – a type of neck facelift.

Another procedure called maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) involves moving the upper and lower jaws forward, which helps open the airway. Radiofrequency tissue ablation uses a low-intensity radiofrequency signal to shrink tissue in the soft palate, tongue or nose.

new surgical technique called hypoglossal nerve stimulation uses a stimulus applied to the nerve that controls the forward movement of the tongue so that the tongue does not block the airway when you breathe.

Can we get rid of snoring with rhinosurgery?

If snoring is caused by a structural problem in the nose that can be surgically corrected, it is possible to use rhinoplasty as a treatment method for snoring. It may be necessary to remove some cartilage to open the airway or straighten the septum so you can breathe more easily. Rhinoplasty can even help treat sleep apnea by strengthening your airways so they don’t collapse and block your breathing while you sleep.

However, if snoring is linked to a problem such as asthma, allergies or being overweight, rhinosurgery may not help. Even though surgery (rhinoplasty) can reduce your snoring by addressing any structural problems, there is a possibility that you snore for other reasons. Your surgeon will be able to tell you if rhinosurgery can help treat your snoring.

How is rhinoplasty surgery performed?

When is rhinoplasty used as a treatment for snoring?

Surgery to repair a deviated septum is usually performed in an outpatient setting under local or general anesthesia. During septoplasty, the septum is straightened and positioned toward the center of the nose. This may require the surgeon to remove parts of the septum to place them in the correct position and remove the obstruction.

The surgeon works through incisions made inside the nose, leaving no visible scars behind. Additional benefits include less pain, less post-operative bruising and swelling, and a shorter recovery period.

If you combine septoplasty and rhinoplasty, your surgeon will take additional steps to improve your nose according to the goals defined during your consultation. Rhinoplasty is a highly personal procedure, tailored to each patient’s facial anatomy and aesthetic preferences.

In addition to correcting breathing affected by structural defects, rhinoplasty can improve nasal asymmetry, size of the nose in relation to facial balance, humps or depressions on the nasal bridge, size or position of the nostrils and size or shape of the nasal tip, and can be a treatment for snoring. Rhinoplasty can be performed as a closed procedure in which incisions are hidden inside the nose or as an open procedure in which an incision is made over the columella, the narrow bridge of tissue that separates the nostrils.

Rhinoseptoplasty as a treatment method for snoring?

You might consider rhinoseptoplasty if:

  • You have a deviated septum causing shortness of breath;
  • You snore excessively;
  • You are a non-smoker;
  • You want to improve both the appearance and function of your nose.

Also, if your doctor diagnoses you with a deviated septum that causes snoring or difficulty breathing, you can turn to rhinoseptoplasty as a treatment method for snoring.

For more information or if you would like a consultation, do not hesitate to contact us.