Snoring Q & A

What’s snoring?

Snoring is a loud noise made while sleeping. It occurs when someone breathes through the mouth. As the throat relaxes, the tongue can fall back into the airway, vibrating against the soft tissue and causing the signature sound.

What causes someone to snore?

The tongue vibrating on the back of the throat interrupts the flow of air, and causes this sound. A number of conditions can make the risk for this worse. These include:

  • Deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps or turbinates
  • Abnormal muscle relaxation
  • Larger tongue or tonsils
  • Obesity
  • Head and neck shape

Is snoring dangerous?

Snoring in and of itself isn't dangerous, but it can disrupt sleep, both for the patient and for the patient's spouse or partner. If it disrupts sleep, it can cause irritability, poor memory and concentration, morning headaches, depression, and poor job performance. Patients who notice these symptoms may wish to discuss their snoring with the Ear Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut team.

In addition, snoring can indicate a person's struggling with sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause long-term health conditions. Snoring can also be a warning sign for sinusitis, or sinus infections. For this reason, intense snoring needs to be addressed with the help of a doctor.

How can someone stop snoring?

Lifestyle changes can sometimes put a stop to snoring. Losing weight, changing sleep positions, using over-the-counter nasal strips to open the nasal passages, and quitting smoking can help. If these don't help, a patient can come to Ear Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut for medical intervention. Some interventions include:

  • Treating underlying conditions like sinusitis or a deviated septum
  • Using solutions in the throat
  • Removing enlarged tonsils
  • Trimming the uvula
  • Breathing devices worn during sleep
  • Opening of the nasal passages
  • Helping patients find and avoid allergens

Also, Dr. Astrachan and Dr. Hecht rule out any underlying health conditions causing the snoring, like sleep apnea.

People who are ready to stop snoring have options. Contact Ear Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut to learn what can be done to put a stop to excessive snoring and get a good night's sleep again.

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