Snoring affects about 45% of people at least occasionally. If your snoring is keeping you or your partner up and you suffer from daytime sleepiness, it may be a symptom of sleep apnea. At Southern ENT Associates, the experienced team of otolaryngologists -- ear, nose, and throat doctors -- can evaluate your snoring and sleep habits and offer solutions. If you live in South Louisiana, call one of the six locations or book online to learn how you can manage constant snoring and sleep apnea to improve your quality of life.
You snore when you have an obstruction to the flow of air at the back of your mouth and nose. The tissue where your tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula may become obstructed from collapsed muscles, naturally narrow airways, or due to inflammation from a cold.
Occasional snoring, such as when you have a stuffy nose, is not dangerous. However, if you snore chronically, it could disturb your sleep as well as your partner’s sleep, and it may signal obstructive sleep apnea.
Short bouts of clogged breathing characterize obstructive sleep apnea. Each episode of not being able to breath lasts more than 10 seconds and happens seven or more times per hour. You may experience anywhere from 30-300 brief awakenings per night.
You may not be aware that you’re waking this frequently, but it interferes with your sleep cycle and reduces your blood oxygen levels. As a result, your heart has to pump harder, and your muscles stay tense -- which means you never truly relax and get restorative sleep.
The doctors at Southern ENT Associates may refer you to a sleep specialist to evaluate your risk of sleep apnea. They perform a comprehensive exam, a review of your symptoms, and an evaluation of your ear, nose, and throat to determine if your snoring is due to chronic infection, a genetic deformity, enlarged tonsils, and adenoids, or a nasal allergy.
The diagnosis informs the treatment plan. Possible treatments may include:
If you’re tired of dealing with heavy snoring and sleep apnea, call Southern ENT Associates or book an appointment online today.