Snoring - Sleep
Snoring - Sleep
Snoring is the noise produced by the tissues of the upper respiratory tract as a result of excessive vibration. It is a common sleep related breathing disorder. This noise occurs due to obstruction to the free flow of air through the nose and the passage behind the mouth.
Snoring is multi-factorial and is affected by being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking, a blocked nose, sleeping position and in children large adenoids and tonsils are a common cause.
Snoring may be associated with a condition called Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), which in itself is a significant medical condition that requires treatment.
OSA occurs when you stop breathing while asleep as the throat collapses and blocks during sleep. The patient is restless during sleep and struggles to breathe, may wake up suddenly with a loud grunt, does not feel refreshed in the morning and tends to dose off during the day.
Bad snorers tend to develop OSA and therefore any person who snores should be assessed for the possibility of OSA.
Examination includes a thorough assessment of the airway by the ENT specialist, and sometimes an endoscopy may be carried out in the clinic. Often we seek the opinion of a respiratory physician / sleep specialist. OSA is diagnosed by an overnight sleep study (polysomnography).
The treatment depends on the severity and the cause/s of the snoring or OSA as this is multi-factorial. Treatment includes weight loss, reducing alcohol, mandibular advancement devices, CPAP or surgery, where appropriate. Surgical options include tonsillectomy, palatoplasty with/without tongue base reduction using coblation.