No one really takes snoring to heart. To many people it’s a laughable nighttime habit that can be fixed by using earplugs or the pillow-over-the-face method. While snoring may be funny to some, it is rare that those people who have to sleep with or near the snorer find it any type of laughing matter. Though snorers may laugh at the nicknames they earn because of their condition, snoring can in fact be very serious and can require treatment. Snoring negatively affects everyone who comes into contact with it. Nightly snoring can be the sign of a deadly health condition called obstructive sleep apnea.
Snoring – The Cause
What most people do know is that snoring is annoying, loud, and for some, never ending. Snoring occurs when the airway is collapsed or partially blocked. This causes the snoring sound because as the snorer breathes in and out, the soft tissues within the throat vibrate. These soft tissues include the tonsils, adenoids, uvula, and the soft palate. If you’re overweight, excess fat within the throat and neck may also be the culprit.
Other issues can contribute to snoring. If you drink alcoholic beverages before bed or take a drug that is known to be a depressant or one to cause drowsiness, your entire body is relaxed, which means that the airway is as well. Health conditions such as asthma, the flu, allergies, side-effects from smoking, and respiratory infections can all cause snoring as well.
At the same time, snoring may be caused by something more serious such as sleep apnea.
For some people snoring may just be temporary due to a cold or a sleeping position, but for others it is a sign of another type of health issue. Those who snore on a nightly basis without any type of relief often suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea can be a fatal condition which makes it even more crucial for you to be tested for it. Sleep apnea restricts the amount of oxygen that your internal organs receive while you sleep and overtime these lowered levels can lead to organ failure or heart problems. Of course, without proper testing, there is no way to tell if sleep apnea is what is causing you to snore at night, but working with Dr. Blair will help you to find out the truth.
Answers for Your Snoring Problem
The cause of your snoring will determine the type of treatment that is prescribed to you. Treatment may be getting rid of a respiratory infection by using antibiotics or learning to use your inhaler before you sleep at night. Some snorers can see results with a simple behavioral change such as sleeping in a different position or sleeping with a pillow to elevate the neck and head may be the perfect solution. Others may need to use an oral appliance at night, while for others surgery is the best answer for some patients. Some patients will need a combination of snoring treatments, such as a behavioral change and the use of a sleep apnea appliance.
Remember, not all snorers have sleep apnea, but it is an important condition to rule out.
Snore No More!
Remember, snoring isn’t something to take lightly. Because sleep apnea can be fatal, it’s important to figure out exactly what is causing you to snore at night so that the root of the cause can be found and treated as required. To get your snoring under control, use our online booking form to set up an appointment or call Dr. Blair’s dental office at (559) 431-4488. You can also email us with questions. Don’t let your snoring problem get any worse, call Dr. Blair today!