WHAT IS SNORING?
Although it is often considered funny, snoring is arguably one of the most common sleep disorders. It is actually the sound that occurs when your breathing is partially obstructed in some way while you’re asleep. More specifically, it is the result of the vibration of your soft palate and uvula.
Many people snore. In fact, it is estimated that 30% to 50% of the US population snores at some time or another. Snoring is especially common in men and overweight individuals, and it usually worsens as you get older. However, thin people and women snore, too.
Snoring can be a complicated problem. It can be caused by turbulent air flow at any point in the respiratory tract. This means that the cause could be in your nose, the soft palate (i.e., the soft part of the roof of the mouth), the base of your tongue, or in rare cases your voice box. In some cases, snoring may be a multi-faceted problem. As such, Dr. Bailey will work with you and consult physicians if/as needed to identify cause(s) of your snoring prior to treatment in our office.
Snoring can be a sign that you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which is a life-threatening disorder. However, not everyone who snores has OSA. If you do not currently have OSA, you should still be concerned because, over time, the vibrations of the soft palate and uvula associated with snoring can cause changes to tissue structure and lead to development of OSA.
Signs and symptoms of snoring may include:
- Noise during sleep
- Dry mouth and/or sore throat upon awakening
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Restless sleep
- Gasping or choking at night
- High-blood pressure
- Chest pain at night
If you snore (or your bed partner has told you that you snore), you will benefit from an evaluation in our office. Simply relying on an over-the-counter snoring device to eliminate the noise can be dangerous to your health and, in some cases, life threatening – especially if your snoring is a sign of sleep apnea.