Snoring is a sleep disorder in which a hoarse sound comes out of the mouth due to obstruction in the airway. Snoring is so common that as many as half of adults sometimes snore.
When you fall asleep, the muscles in your tongue, throat, and at the roof of your mouth all relax. This causes throat tissues to sag and obstruct your breathing. They vibrate or flutter as you breathe, creating the sound of snoring.
What causes snoring?
Snoring can be caused by problems in a number of different areas, including your nose, soft palate, uvula, or tonsils.
Other factors that can cause snoring include:
- Alcohol – Consuming too much alcohol – particularly before bedtime – can have a sedative effect that relaxes the throat muscles and causes obstructions in the airway.
- Excess weight – People who are overweight or obese may have bulky neck or throat tissue that narrows their airways.
- Your mouth’s anatomy – If you have a low, long, thick soft palate or a uvula that’s long, your airflow may be obstructed. The same is true if you have large tonsils and/or adenoids.
- Obstructed nasal airways – As you try to breathe through a stuffy nose, you create a vacuum in your throat that can result in snoring.
- Structural issues in the nose – Structural issues inside the nose – such as a deviated septum (a crooked or off-center wall that separates your nostrils) can create an obstruction.
- Age – As people get older, their throat muscles can tend to become weaker, which causes the surrounding tissues to sag and vibrate.
What lifestyles changes can be made to stop snoring?
If you snore, there are several lifestyle changes that you can make in order to stop snoring:
- Lose extra weight
- Stop smoking
- Sleep on your side instead of on your back
- Raise the head of your bed (not just your pillows) by about four inches
- Use nasal strips, which can help widen the nostrils and improve airflow
- Avoid using sleeping pills and antihistamines before bedtime
- Avoid eating heavy meals close to bedtime
A treatment plan may include lifestyle changes as well as minimally invasive or surgical treatments.
A full examination by our board-certified ENT (ear, nose, and throat) physicians who are also double board certified in Sleep Medicine will help determine the most effective treatments in your particular case.
What are the treatment options to stop snoring?
Treatment can improve snoring in some cases, but a complete cure may not always be possible. Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, are usually recommended first.
Anti-snoring devices, such as oral appliance therapy, may also help prevent snoring. These custom-made mouth guards can help move your tongue gently forward as you sleep, helping to open your airways.
If lifestyle changes and anti-snoring devices don’t provide enough relief, surgery may be an option.
Procedural options that are often used to stop snoring include the following:
- Pillar Procedure – This in-office procedure involves positioning tiny inserts in your soft palate to help provide support. No tissue is removed, so you’ll experience only minimal discomfort and have a very short recovery time – sometimes only a day.
- Nasal Procedures – We can help snoring caused by a deviated septum (septoplasty) or excess tissue within the nose (turbinate reduction).
Where can I find the best treatments to stop snoring in Atlanta?
Atlanta Snoring Institute offers simple, effective in-office procedures to treat snoring. They can often be performed in fewer than 30 minutes, letting you return to work right away.
These procedures are effective at reducing or even stopping snoring in most patients. We’ll pinpoint the exact cause of your snoring and determine the best treatments in your particular case.
During your first visit, your doctor will examine your upper airway to determine which areas are contributing to your snoring.
Schedule an appointment today with Atlanta Snoring Institute!