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Snoring
 may occur nightly or intermittently. Though more common in males and those who are overweight, snoring is a problem of both genders. Snoring usually increases in severity as people age. It causes disruptions to your sleep and your bed-partner’s sleep. It can lead to fragmented and un-refreshing sleep which translates into poor daytime function (tiredness, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating ).

While you sleep, the muscles of your throat relax, your tongue falls backward, and your throat becomes narrow and “floppy.” As you breathe, the walls of the throat begin to vibrate – generally when you breathe in, but also, to a lesser extent, when you breathe out. These vibrations lead to the characteristic sound of snoring. The narrower your airway, the greater the vibration and the louder your snoring. Sometimes the walls of the throat collapse completely so that it is completely occluded, creating a condition called Sleep Apnea (cessation of breathing). This is a serious condition which requires medical attention.

Symptoms

  • Loud vibrating, rattling, noisy sound while breathing during sleep. This may be a symptom of sleep apnea.
  • Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
  • Morning Headaches
  • Recent Weight Gain
  • Waking up in the morning feeling unrefreshed
  • Dry Mouth upon awakening.
  • Reduced Attention, Concentration, or Memory
  • Observed Pauses in Breathing During Sleep

Treatment

People who snore are generally unaware of their snoring, and must rely on the observations of their bed-partners. Some snorers may wake up at night choking and gasping for breath.

If you have been told that your snoring is disturbing to others, or you have some of the symptoms and signs listed above, consult with your physician. They will take your history, perform a physical exam and will determine whether you require a consultation with a sleep specialist and a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea.

Depending on the results of the sleep study, you will be presented with a series of options to treat snoring.

Treatment Options

  • Weight Loss
  • Lifestyle modifications , posture change: lying on your sides instead of your back
  • Dental Appliances
  • CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure device which blows air into the back of the throat, preventing it from collapse) may be considered if sleep apnea is present in addition
  • Upper Airway surgery