Your snoring may interrupt the sleep of those around you, no doubt. But is snoring also a sign of an underlying health condition? At Jacksonville ENT Surgery, our experts, Charles Greene, MD, PhD, and Tara Condrey, PA-C, can help you find out.
At our three Jacksonville, Florida, offices and in Lake City, Florida, our providers uncover the reason behind your snoring and help your — and your partner — sleep easier with our personalized approach to treatment.
Take a moment to learn more about snoring and when you should be concerned.
Snoring is a common nighttime occurrence. While men tend to snore more than women, about 45% of all adults snore at least part of the time. And 25% snore almost every time they sleep.
The sound of snoring arises when the soft tissues in your mouth relax and partially cover your air passage. As you breathe, the air you breathe in passes the tissues and causes them to vibrate, creating the snoring sound. The louder the snoring, the more the airway is covered by tissues.
But understanding what causes someone to snore in the first place isn’t always easy as there are many factors that can contribute to the condition, including:
- Chronic sinusitis
- Nasal polyps
- Deviated septum
- Collapsed nasal valve
- Enlarged turbinates
- Irregular facial bone structure
- Swelling of adenoids or tonsils
- Drinking alcohol
- Sleeping medications
- Large tongue
- Congestion from allergies or viral infections
- Being overweight or obese
Swelling of the soft tissues in the mouth due to injury or infection can also trigger snoring. Because there are so many possible reasons you may snore, if snoring is an issue, it’s important to schedule an appointment with an ENT for a diagnostic exam.
When snoring is cause for concern
If your partner only complains about occasional snoring from your side of the bed, chances are you don’t need to worry. But if you snore frequently, it may be caused by congestion or blockages. A trip to the ENT can get to the root of your snoring problems.
If you have consistent, loud snoring, it’s often a sign of an underlying sleep condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing for short periods while you sleep.
The most common type of condition is called obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when the muscles in your throat relax too much, leading you to snore and stop breathing. Another form of this condition is called central sleep apnea. This occurs when your brain doesn’t send your throat muscles the right breathing signals.
In some cases, people have both kinds of sleep apnea, resulting in something called combined-type sleep apnea. In addition to snoring, sleep apnea can trigger other symptoms, including:
- Daytime drowsiness and fatigue
- Morning headache or sore throat
- Trouble concentrating or with memory
- Irritability or mood swings during the day
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, contact the experts at Jacksonville ENT Surgery as soon as possible. When left it goes untreated, research shows sleep apnea contributes to several serious health conditions, including heart disease and stroke.
How we treat snoring
At Jacksonville ENT Surgery, our team uses a personalized approach to treating snoring. The best treatments depend on the underlying cause of your snoring. Based on your symptoms and our assessment of the underlying condition(s) involved, we may recommend therapies such as:
- Weight loss
- Steroid sprays
- Surgical removal of polyps
- Surgical repair of a deviated septum
- Nonsurgical VivAer® for enlarged nasal tissues or faulty nasal valve
- CPAP machine, oral device, or surgery for sleep apnea
Ready to learn more about snoring and whether you have cause for concern? Contact the experts at Jacksonville ENT Surgery to set up a consultation by calling the Jacksonville or Lake City, Florida, office nearest you. You can also request an appointment online at your convenience.