Many people snore from time to time, especially if they have a cold or hayfever, but constant loud snoring could signify an underlying health problem. If your snoring keeps your family awake, the experienced team at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. can help. At their locations in Kittery, Maine, and Stratham, New Hampshire, they can determine the cause of your snoring and find the most appropriate treatment. To ensure a better night's sleep for you and those around you, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.
Snoring is something many people do when they're asleep because their soft palate in the roof of their mouth relaxes and drops down, blocking the airway.
Air going past the muscles as you breathe in makes them vibrate, creating a snoring sound. The more obstructed your airway, the more the muscles vibrate, and the noisier your snoring becomes.
Certain conditions can make you more likely to snore, including:
Drinking alcohol can also affect your soft palate and increase the chances of snoring.
Occasional snoring or snoring when you have a cold is unlikely to be significant, but frequent, severe snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea. This condition is one where you frequently stop breathing momentarily throughout the night.
You might find you have some symptoms of sleep apnea if you snore chronically, such as:
If you have sleep apnea, it increases your risk of developing chronic health conditions like high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, and stroke. However, because you do it when you're asleep, you may be unaware of how badly you snore or that you stop breathing while asleep until someone tells you.
Your provider at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. begins by performing a physical exam, discussing your lifestyle, medical history, and general health, and finding out about your sleep habits. You may need to have a CT scan or X-ray so your provider can look at the structures within your mouth.
Your provider at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. might recommend a sleep study to see if you have sleep apnea. One way of doing this is to wear a monitor at home that records your blood oxygen levels while you sleep. You may, in some cases, need to spend a night at a sleep center where they can monitor your oxygen levels, heart rate, and sleep habits.
Depending on what the sleep studies reveal, you might need to take medications that treat nasal congestion, allergies, or asthma or that open your airways and make breathing easier during sleep. If you do have sleep apnea, you might need to wear a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask at night to help you breathe.
Other snoring treatments include lifestyle changes such as weight loss and quitting smoking or wearing nasal strips that help improve your breathing at night by keeping your nasal passages open. If you have a deviated septum, you might benefit from septoplasty to improve your breathing.
For effective treatment of snoring and sleep apnea, call Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC., or book an appointment online today.