Many people can relate to the feeling of being stuffed up and having difficulty breathing because of a bad cold or sinus infection. While these symptoms can be annoying during the day, they can be even more troublesome at night. They can impact your ability to breathe freely and lead to heavy mouth breathing and snoring. For some people, breathing difficulties and snoring can be long-term problems. This is particularly true if a chronic sinus condition is at the root of these issues.
In this blog, the snoring specialists at the Atlanta Snoring Institute will explain what chronic sinusitis is and how it may be connected to snoring in patients who suffer from both conditions.
What is chronic sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis is defined as chronic inflammation in one or more sinus cavities. Generally, if you’ve had sinusitis symptoms for more than six weeks, the condition is considered chronic. Mucous builds up, making it harder to breathe freely. As a result, you may be more likely to breathe through your mouth at night and snore.
If you’re suffering from chronic sinusitis, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Mucous build-up
- Facial pain
- Bad breath (halitosis)
How does sinusitis cause snoring?
Nasal inflammation and obstructions can interfere with smooth, easy breathing. As your nose becomes congested and full of mucous, air can only partially get through your blocked nasal passages. As a result, snoring can occur and you may be forced to breathe through your mouth.
Other nasal problems can cause nasal obstruction, making the development of sinusitis and snoring more likely. These include:
A deviated septum
This wall of cartilage and bone divides your nasal cavity into two equal passages. Some people have a septum that’s off center because of injury, or it may have grown that way. When one nostril is smaller, it may become blocked more easily, particularly if the difference in size is pronounced. The septum can be surgically straightened, making the nasal cavity more evenly divided and less likely to become blocked.
Nasal turbinates are bony and soft tissue structures that project from the walls of the nasal passages. They can become swollen or blocked in a condition called turbinate hypertrophy, contributing to chronic sinusitis and snoring. If necessary, an ENT physician can reduce their size, making the airway clearer.
If you have snoring and sinus issues, it’s important to have your symptoms evaluated by a board-certified ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician who can diagnose the problem and suggest an appropriate treatment plan. Ongoing symptoms can greatly interfere with your ability to get the rest you need and affect your function throughout the day. Over time, chronic snoring that interferes with sleep – both yours and your partner’s – can cause significant health issues.
How can I treat my sinusitis and snoring?
A number of treatment options are available, and your doctor will start with a conservative approach to target the root cause of your sinusitis and snoring.
Initial treatments may include the following:
- Allergy medications (if your sinusitis is caused by allergic rhinitis)
- Nasal sprays
Once your doctor knows the exact cause of your sinusitis and snoring, he or she can explain further treatment options if initial treatments haven’t provided enough relief.
Some of the procedures offered at Atlanta Snoring Institute for sinusitis and snoring include:
- Balloon Sinuplasty: A minimally invasive procedure performed using a tiny balloon to enlarge and open blocked sinus openings. After the procedure, you’ll have better mucous drainage, and air will be able to move more freely through your nasal passages.
- Septoplasty: This procedure straightens a deviated septum, allowing for improved nasal breathing and helping sinus openings remain obstruction-free.
- Turbinate reduction: This minimally invasive procedure uses targeted radio frequency energy or a microdebrider to shrink nasal turbinates that are interfering with breathing.
Where can I get treatment for sinusitis and snoring in Atlanta?
Atlanta Snoring institute has three convenient locations in the Atlanta area that are home to experienced, double board-certified ENT doctors who treat both sinusitis and snoring. Take the Snore Quiz to gauge how much your snoring issues are negatively impacting your quality of life, and follow up by making an appointment for an evaluation at Atlanta Snoring Institute. An accurate evaluation is the first step toward breathing and sleeping easier.