If your partner or housemate says you snore, you should take it seriously. Frequent snoring affects 40% of men and 24% of women, and for about half of them, snoring is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. At Prime Pulmonary & Sleep Center, Pramil Vaghasia, MD, and Ruchi Bansal, MD, specialize in determining the cause of snoring and providing customized treatment that stops the snoring and restores normal breathing during sleep. To get experienced, compassionate care, call the office in Bakersfield or Delano, California, or book an appointment online today.
Your tongue and the soft palate in the back of your mouth are made of muscles. These soft tissues naturally relax and fall back toward your throat when you sleep.
As these soft tissues partially cover your airway, they vibrate when you breathe. That vibration causes snoring. Your snoring gets louder as more of the airway becomes blocked.
You’re more likely to snore if you have:
Drinking alcohol close to bedtime also causes snoring.
Snoring on its own doesn’t cause health problems. However, loud snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that’s a serious health concern. When you have sleep apnea, you repeatedly stop breathing during the night because the soft tissues completely cover your airway.
Since most people aren’t aware of their snoring, you should watch for other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, such as:
When sleep apnea goes untreated, the condition raises your risk of developing chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.
Your provider at Prime Pulmonary & Sleep Center reviews your medical history and symptoms and does a physical exam of your nose, mouth, and throat. You may need a CT scan or X-rays so they can rule out problems with the structures in your mouth, nose, and throat.
If your symptoms suggest a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea, you need a sleep study to diagnose the condition. Depending on your symptoms and general health, you may have home sleep testing or an overnight study in the sleep lab at Prime Pulmonary & Sleep Center.
Your treatment depends on the cause of your snoring and the results of your sleep studies. You may need medications to clear nasal congestion or a procedure to repair nasal structures.
Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol before bedtime, and sleeping on your side can help stop snoring.
If you have sleep apnea, your treatment may include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), an oral device, or surgery to stiffen or reposition the tissues around your throat.
If you need help with snoring, call Prime Pulmonary & Sleep Center, or book an appointment online today.