There are plenty of products and treatment options out there that claim to be the “best way to stop snoring.” Whether it’s a nose strip, pillow, mouth guard or some medical procedure – the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, many of these options that promise a snoring cure fail to address the most important part of any successful treatment – personalization. Because each person’s snoring condition is unique, treatment must be tailored to the underlying causes of their individual symptoms in order to be effective. In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to snoring treatment.
In this blog, the physicians at Atlanta Snoring Institute provide an overview of the common causes of snoring, describe why individualized snoring treatment is so important, and explain what you need to know if you are considering surgery to stop snoring.
Effective Snoring Treatment Starts With Pinpointing the Causes
Snoring can be caused by a number of different factors. Some common causes of snoring include:
- Nasal blockage – A deviated septum and turbinate hypertrophy are two factors that can cause congestion or breathing obstruction in the nasal passageways, contributing to snoring for many people.
- Palate obstruction – An elongated soft floppy palate can narrow the airway, causing obstruction and loud snoring due to the vibrations of the soft tissue.
- Tongue obstruction – The tongue is often to blame for loud snoring because it frequently will fall back into the throat during sleep, blocking the airway. This is especially common for people who have a short jaw (causing an overbite).
- Enlarged tonsils – Like the tongue and soft palate, enlarged tonsils can obstruct the airway and lead to loud snoring caused by tissue vibrations.
- Extra weight around the neck – Thickened fat pads in the lower throat narrow the airway and decrease muscular tone, leading to snoring.
- Obstructive sleep apnea – Chronic snoring may be a sign of a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea where the body stops breathing for short periods during sleep due to an obstruction of the airway.
For some individuals, there may be more than one factor at play, such as both a deviated septum and tongue obstruction. In addition to anatomical factors, there are other possible causes of snoring, which include: sleeping on your back, consuming alcohol or sleep aids, eating too close to bedtime or nasal congestion caused by a cold or allergies.
In order to determine the best snoring treatment option, a comprehensive examination with a board-certified sleep specialist is not just preferable – it is essential. If your doctor believes you are at risk for obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep study may be recommended to make a diagnosis. This test will begin the process of determining what treatment options are best suited to your individual needs.
Things to Keep in Mind When Considering A Surgery to Stop Snoring
If you are considering surgery to stop snoring, chances are that you’ve exhausted a number of different treatment options with unsatisfactory results. More likely than not, you’re someone who’s eager to find a long-lasting, permanent solution that doesn’t require the use of an anti-snoring device on a nightly basis, such as the CPAP mask or an oral appliance. The good news is that there are a number of in office treatments or outpatient surgeries available to treat snoring and sleep apnea. Depending on the underlying cause(s) of your condition, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure that would not require any time out of work.
Atlanta Snoring Institute offers a wide range of the latest snoring treatment procedures, both minimally invasive and surgical. Here are some of the treatment options we offer, based upon your individual snoring causes:
Minimally Invasive Procedures
- Tongue obstruction – When an enlarged or high-arched tongue base is contributing to airway obstruction, base of tongue reduction can shrink the tongue base using radio frequency energy. Custom fitted oral appliances can also help treat tongue obstruction.
- Turbinate hypertrophy – Enlarged nasal turbinates can be quickly reduced in size to open up the nasal passages with a turbinate reduction procedure using radio frequency energy.
- Palate obstruction – Extra soft palate tissue can be stiffened and snoring vibrations reduced with small implants inserted in the Pillar Procedure or through soft palate Coblation that uses radio frequency energy to shrink tissue. Palatal tissue can also be shortened.
- Enlarged tonsils – When enlarged or chronically infected tonsils are contributing to snoring, tonsillar reduction can shrink the tissues using radio frequency energy.
- Deviated septum – Snoring caused by a deviated septum is often fixed through a septoplasty surgery that straightens the septum and opens the nasal passages to improve breathing.
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids – When enlarged tonsils or adenoids are a primary cause of airway obstruction leading to snoring, they can be permanently removed through surgical procedures called a tonsillectomy or an adenoidectomy.
- Tongue obstruction – A large tongue that collapses into the airway and obstructs breathing can be stabilized and supported through the AIRvance procedure.
- Palate obstruction – Excess soft tissue in the throat is removed and toned to widen the airway using the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
Successful Surgery Starts with A Comprehensive Evaluation
If you are looking for a permanent solution to stop your snoring, schedule a consultation at the Atlanta Snoring Institute. A comprehensive evaluation is the first step to determining what’s causing your symptoms and tailoring a treatment plan designed for the best possible results. Contact us today to find out whether you’re a candidate for one of our minimally invasive or surgical procedures.
Still not sure whether it’s snoring or something more? Take this short quiz to gauge your level of risk for obstructive sleep apnea.