conditions such as allergies, head colds, sore throats and a wee
bit too much spirits are all common causes of occasional snoring.
While this type of snoring may be disruptive, it is rarely a cause
for concern. Chronic snoring, however, can be a symptom of something
far more serious.
snoring occurs every night regardless of the sleeper's position
and independent of any other health issues. Often times chronic
snoring is so severe that it totally disrupts the sleep patterns
of everyone in the household. That's because severe snoring is
both relentless and can be quite losud. The classic snoring sound
is created by vibrations of the soft palate (roof of the mouth),
throat, uvula (that little flap of skin that hangs from the roof
of the mouth), tonsils and adenoids.The
loudest recorded snoring ever measured was an ear-splitting 90
decibels. To put that into perspective, normal human conversation
is about 40 decibels, city sounds range from 60 to 70 decibels
and a jet plane on full afterburner hits 110 decibels!
Besides sleep deprivation, chronic
snoring has been proven to be the cause of serious health problems.
Dr. David Earnest, associate professor at the Texas A&M College
of Medicine said "If you look at the statistics, sleep disorders
are one of the leading causes of institutionalization in the United
snoring is responsible for higher risk of stroke, certain forms
of diabetes, elevated blood pressure and heart disease. Chronic
snoring may be a symptom of "sleep apnea" which is a
breathing obstruction caused by a collapsing of the soft tissues
of the mouth and throat when the muscles of the neck and mouth
begin to relax. Sleep apnea sufferers may wake up hundreds of
times per night in order to start breathing again. If
you or someone in your life is suffering from chronic snoring
then a physical examination by a doctor is in order. An otolaryngologist
(Ear, Nose and Throat) doctor is best qualified to diagnose the
problem. After examining your mouth and throat, the doctor may
have you participate in a laboratory-based sleep study for further
you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, the chances are your doctor
will prescribe a device called a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway
Pressure) machine. This resembles an oxygen mask that is worn
when you sleep. The mask is connected to a hose and an air pump
which delivers a constant flow of air pressure through your mouth
and nose. This is designed to counteract the vibrations caused
by snoring. While the CPAP is the most commonly prescribed treatment,
it is not always well tolerated. Other surgical and non surgical
treatments do exist including dental appliances, palate surgery,
and maxillary and mandibular advancement.
new surgical alternative called the "Pillar
Procedure" consists of having a doctor insert three tiny
woven inserts into the soft palate which helps to reduce the vibration.
According to Dr's Jennifer Jordan and Dwight Lee, of Dallas Texas
based White Rock Ear, Nose and Throat Associates, this is a painless
procedure which they can do right in their office. This procedures
eliminates the need for the CPAP and all of the related misery
that it causes.
is an inconvenience. Chronic snoring and sleep apnea can be life-threatening.
Don't fool around with something that is so relatively easy to
treat. If you suspect you have a problem, see your doctor right