Snoring

West Shore ENT & Allergy

Otolaryngology & Allergy Specialists located in Norton Shores, Muskegon, Grand Haven, Fremont, & Ludington, MI

About 90 million Americans suffer from snoring. Everyone snores a little, but for some patents, it can be a continuous (chronic) problem that affects their breathing and the quality of their sleep. West Shore ENT & Allergy works with patients in Norton Shores, Grand Haven, Fremont, Ludington, and Muskegon, Michigan, to understand what’s causing a patient's condition and how to effectively treat it. If you or your partner are loud and frequent snorers and it’s affecting your sleep, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to talk to an expert today.

Snoring Q & A

What is snoring?

Snoring is a harsh sound that happens when the air passages toward the back of your throat are blocked and restricting the free flow of air.

In some patients, the walls in the back of their throat collapse and completely block air from flowing for more than 10 seconds at a time. This creates a serious condition called sleep apnea, where you stop breathing and your blood receives less oxygen.

Over time, your body is put under undue stress as your heart works harder to compensate for the lack of oxygen. You also suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, which increases your risk of developing a number of health issues like heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and many other chronic conditions.

What causes snoring?

A number of things contribute to snoring, including:

  • Old age
  • Excessive weight
  • Being a man
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Structural defects in your nose
  • Anatomical abnormalities
  • Sleep position

Mild cases of snoring are manageable, but if you notice the following symptoms, your case could be more advanced and you should talk to your provider:

  • Daytime tiredness
  • Morning headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of concentration

Snorers are usually unaware of their symptoms since they’re sleeping, so ask your bed partner to observe your sleep or talk to your doctor to learn about a sleep test that can assess your symptoms.

How is snoring treated?

Your doctor does a physical exam to figure out the cause of your snoring. Depending on the results of this exam and a sleep test, your provider could suggest some of the following treatments:

Lifestyle changes

If you’re a light snorer, your doctor will suggest simple lifestyle changes like exercise, avoiding alcohol, and establishing regular sleep patterns.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)

A CPAP machine is a sleep-therapy device that sends a constant flow of air pressure to your throat that keeps your airway open even when it’s relaxed. This helps stop the pauses in your breathing and is used to treat patients with sleep apnea.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

Your doctor uses UPPP surgery to remove excess soft palate tissue to enlarge your airway and make breathing easier.

Thermal ablation

Your doctor uses concentrated light therapy to destroy tissues that are obstructing your airway to reduce snoring and sleep apnea.

Surgery

Surgical options for snoring include injection snoreplasty or pillar implants, both of which work to stiffen the soft tissue part of your airway to reduce the vibrations that result in snoring. Your doctor can also suggest genioglossus surgery or hyoid advancement as other surgical options to treat sleep apnea.

Oral appliance

Your doctor fits a customized mouthpiece that repositions your jaw to help reduce snoring and sleep apnea.

If you’re suffering from snoring that's interfering with you getting a good night’s sleep, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to book a consultation today.