Snoring affects over 90 million Americans and can range from mildly annoying to life threatening. While some cases of snoring and sleep apnea can be reduced or eliminated entirely by lifestyle changes, certain snoring devices and even over the counter pharmaceutical medications, some cannot. In serious cases of sleep apnea, a doctor may recommend surgery as the only option to reduce the symptoms of this deadly disease. However, surgery alone doesn’t always solve the problem.
The individual’s specific causes for sleep apnea, will determine what type of surgery is best suited to help them stop snoring. This article discusses, why snoring occurs, how to stop snoring without surgery, along with surgical procedures designed to stop snoring and whether or not they are capable of stopping snoring in Idaho Falls.
Why Does Snoring Occur?
Before diving head first into the surgeries best suited to reduce snoring, it’s important to understand what causes snoring. There are a few different reasons that snoring may occur, but generally speaking, for those persons looking at surgery options, it’s usually because they are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. According to MedicineNet, Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused occurs when, “During sleep, the uvula and soft palate frequently vibrate causing the distinctive sounds of snoring. Snoring may also originate from the walls of the throat and further down around the tongue base.”
Alternatively, snoring can also occur in the nasal passages for some people.
Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a serious, life-threatening disease. In order to properly assess whether or not you have sleep apnea, you will need to speak with a licensed sleep therapist and your doctor. From here you will be required to perform a sleep study (at home or in office) so that the sleep technician can properly gauge your snoring and/or sleep apnea. You can also take online assessments so that you can personally see how your snoring is impacting your waking hours.
How To Stop Snoring Without Surgery
As previously mentioned, a sleep therapist will usually prescribe lifestyle changes, “stop snoring devices” and even over the counter medications in an attempt to reduce and/or eliminate snoring and sleep apnea. Some of the most common lifestyle changes to stop snoring in Idaho Falls include, but are not limited to:
- Losing weight. If you are overweight your physician and sleep specialist may recommend starting a diet and exercise program in order to reduce your sleep apnea symptoms.
- Eliminate nasal congestion. You can do this by using over-the-counter nasal decongestants and making sure that your pillow is clean and free from allergens, such as dust and pet dander.
- Create a dark sleeping environment. Make sure that your bedroom is set at a comfortable temperature and is peaceful and devoid of any bright lights.
- Try to avoid eating a large meal before you go to bed. Eat at least three hours before you try to lie down for the evening.
- Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, nicotine, caffeine and other stimulants or relaxants before bed. If you are going to consume any of these try to do it at least four hours before you go to bed.
- Don’t fight sleep. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and try to do something that will induce sleeping. Usually cleaning, folding laundry or doing something monotonous will do the trick.
- Keep a regular schedule for morning and night, even on weekends. Try to avoid naps if possible throughout the week as well.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Try taking a bath, reading, drinking tea, doing some light stretching, etc, before crawling into bed.
- Leave your cell phone and other electronics outside of the bedroom. If you use your phone as your alarm, try opting for an actual alarm clock and keep your phone in the next room.
Stop Snoring Devices
In addition to lifestyle changes, your professional sleep therapist will most likely recommend the use of an anti-snoring device. The most common devices are:
- Oral Appliances – Oral appliances aid in the reduction of sleep apnea symptoms without the need for surgery, medication or therapy. Many people prefer an oral appliance because it offers benefits that a CPAP machine would normally restrict. Comfort Sleep Solutions creates custom oral appliance for all of our patients. Contact us to get fitted for yours today.
- Positive Airway Pressure Devices – More commonly referred to as either a CPAP, BiPAP, or VPAP, these machines are used to treat most moderate and even severe cases of sleep apnea.
Stop Snoring in Idaho Falls With Surgery
If your snoring or sleep apnea still persists after you have tried the above treatments, your doctor may recommend surgery to reduce snoring/ sleep apnea symptoms. You’ll notice that the different snoring surgeries listed below all focus on separate parts of the mouth, nasal passages, throat, and jaw. Since all surgeries are separate, you may need to have more than one procedure done, alongside lifestyle changes to stop snoring permanently. The following list includes the most common types of surgery that people undergo to stop snoring in Idaho Falls:
- Nasal Surgery – Nasal obstruction can cause issues both during the day and night time. According to SleepApnea.org, “The most common nasal surgical procedure consists of septoplasty and turbinate reduction. This is an outpatient procedure that is well tolerated by most patients. It consists of straightening out the septum and reducing the size of the turbinates. This procedure creates more room in the nose and allows air to pass smoothly and without effort.”
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) – This procedure is considered a type of soft palate surgery, targeting the back roof of the mouth. To make the airway wider excess tissue is removed and reposition. Similarly, the soft palate can be trimmed down along with the uvula, remove your tonsils, and even reposition the muscles of the soft palate. UPPP alone is unlikely to cure moderate to severe sleep apnea.
- Palatal Implants – In this procedure, small rods are inserted into the tissue to prevent the airway from being blocked or collapsing.
- Hyoid Suspension – The hyoid bone is the U-shaped bone in the neck that is attached to the tongue and other structures. This procedure pulls the bone forward to create more space in the lower part of the throat.
- Maxillomandibular Osteotomy (MMO) & Advancement (MMA) – This surgery is designed to stop snoring in Idaho Falls by moving the upper and/or lower jaw forward in an attempt to enlarge the entire throat. This procedure is an option for people who suffer from severe sleep apnea and as such is more extreme and can take some time to properly heal.
- Tracheostomy – This procedure is a kind of “last option” surgery. By creating a passageway directly into the trachea by way of the neck, the breathing flows unrestricted. Usually an option for morbidly obese patients with obesity hypoventilation syndrome or in patients with significant craniofacial anomaly who have failed all other forms of non-surgical and surgical treatments,” according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. Bottomline, this surgery is extremely effective for very sick people.
- Weight Loss Surgery – Weight loss has been known to cause snoring and sleep apnea symptoms, so many people opt for weight loss surgery to improve their quality of sleep and life. There are many different types of weight loss surgery, so discuss your options with your doctor and licensed sleep professional before moving forward. Normally, if you used a CPAP machine you’ll still need to use it after your surgery.
At the end of the day, surgery alone will not stop snoring of sleep apnea for good, but this doesn’t mean there is no hope. For severe snorers, a combination of lifestyle changes, anti-snoring devices, and even surgery may be the best route to end your snoring one and for all.
To find out how to stop snoring in Idaho Falls for good, contact Comfort Sleep Solutions today. We’ll set up a consultation with you to discuss your symptoms and possible treatment options that will get you back to sleeping like a baby.