Snoring is a condition that affects 45% of normal adults and may be a signal that something is seriously wrong with one’s breathing during sleep. Men are generally more likely to snore than pre-menopausal women, however: women who have gone through menopause are just as likely to snore as men. Children generally do not snore unless they have enlarged tonsils or adenoids.
- Poor muscle tone in the throat and the tongue.
- Alcohol and sleeping pills relax the muscles too much, causing snoring.
- A long soft palate and uvula narrows the passage from the nose to the throat – They can flutter
during relaxed breathing causing snoring.
- A large tongue, or a tongue which is positioned close to the posterior pharyngeal wall.
- Nasal Problems – conditions which lead to nasal obstruction or turbulent nasal airflow can increase snoring. Such conditions include deviated septum, polyps, turbinate hypertrophy and allergies.
Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are a common cause of snoring and sleep disruption in children. The tonsils are essentially lymph nodes found in the back of the throat while the adenoids are a tissue located in the back of the nose. Although less commonly a problem in adults, some adults can receive excellent resolution of snoring through removal of enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids. Tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy is an outpatient surgery performed in the operating room under general anesthesia. Most patients require a recovery time at home of approximately one week but may continue to experience a sore throat for two weeks.
Nasal congestion has been shown to cause or contribute to snoring. Nasal obstruction may result from many causes including allergies, polyps, septal deviation, and turbinate hypertrophy. Medical treatment options, such as a nasal steroid spray or allergy management may be helpful in some patients. Structural problems, such as a deviated septum, often benefit from surgical treatment. Nasal surgeries, including septoplasty and polyp removal, are usually performed in the operating room under general anesthesia. In select patients, treatment of nasal congestion can result in improvement or resolution of snoring.
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