Is Snoring Messing With Your Sleep?

The sound of snoring is often perceived as a great night’s sleep, but this is actually a serious condition for millions of Americans. According to the American Sleep Association, 57% of men and 40% of women snore. Snoring messes with sleep cycles and can lead to fatigue, insomnia, irritability, and depression. While the reasons are many, most cases can be linked to sinus conditions.

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What’s going on when you’re snoring?

When someone is asleep, the soft palate at the roof of the mouth relaxes. Air passes through the nasal passages and hits the soft palate. Snoring is the gentle vibration and rattling of this soft tissue, usually due to a narrowed airway. Some are more prone to snoring due to the size of the tongue, tonsils, jaw, and muscles. Other reasons include obesity, alcohol, and allergies. However, sinusitis happens to be one of the biggest reasons behind snoring.

Check your sinuses

Sinusitis is a distressing condition for millions of Americans. Sinuses are air-filled cavities located around the nose, cheekbones, and forehead. If these cavities become swollen and inflamed, the mucus that drains through these channels becomes blocked, causing further distress. Sinusitis causes a blocked nose, headaches, pain around the cheeks, and mucus discharge. Sinus pressure can also lead to snoring and poor sleep. If left untreated, snoring can lead to obstructive sleep apnea. The reduced breathing that comes with sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications.

Can an ENT help?

Sinus problems and snoring are closely connected, so is there anything chronic snorers can do for some peaceful sleep? Visiting an ENT doctor is the first step to finding a solution. ENT doctors treat conditions of the ear, nose, and throat. A series of physical tests, imaging tests, or sleep endoscopy could help determine the cause of snoring. From there, the ENT can provide different treatment recommendations to fix snoring for good.

Clearing your sinuses

The ENT doctor usually try to resolve the sinus issues first using medication and antibiotics. The doctor may prescribe corticosteroids or antibiotics to reduce inflammation. As an immediate solution, the ENT can flush the sinus cavities of mucus and viruses. If sinus issues persist, endoscopic sinus surgery can help. Using a snake-like tool with a camera attached, the doctor can manually clear blockages or polyps. If snoring persists after clearing the sinus, there are other treatment options available.

Treating your snoring

There could still be a blockage if snoring persists after clearing sinuses. An ENT can then recommend devices to fit in the mouth while sleeping. A CPAP machine may help if the patient has sleep apnea. For long-term cases, surgery can help. Standard procedures include soft palate surgery, somnoplasty, or soft palate coblation. The ENT will determine the best course of action.

A good night’s sleep is close

Chronic snoring can cause fatigue, insomnia and affect others in the family. If the issue is sinus-related, there could be a long-term health issue as well. A good night’s sleep can happen by targeting sinus conditions first. If snoring continues, an ENT can use even more effective techniques to help. Take snoring seriously and speak with a specialist as soon as possible.

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