These are the frequently asked questions that will be answered for you in the following information.
- Can snoring be stopped?
- Why do I snore?
- What is snoring?
- Causes of Snoring
- What problems can snoring cause?
- Is snoring dangerous?
- What would happen if I keep snoring?
- How do I know I am getting a good sleep?
- What can happen if I keep on snoring?
- How can I find out what is causing my snoring?
- What special tests will be ordered?
- Can snoring be fixed?
- How can I stop snoring?
- How is snoring treated?
- Why are there so many options?
- Will one treatment option fix my snoring?
- I am confused! Each doctor I see tells me I need different treatment. Why is that?
- How will I know which treatment is right for me?
Can my snoring be stopped?
At the Sydney Centre for TMJ and Sleep, we are dedicated to helping you STOP SNORING.
Why do I snore?
Snoring is caused by blockage of the air passages during sleep.
What is snoring?
During sleep, the muscles of the soft palate and uvula (the structures found in the back of the throat) tend to relax, narrow and vibrate when the person breathes. This relaxed tissue vibrates as air moves back and forth across it, making the snoring noise.
CAUSES of SNORING
Where does the blockage occur?
Blockage can occur at one or more sites. In most people, the blockage occurs at multiple sites. Sites where blockage can occur include:
- The nose
- The adenoids
- The tonsils
- The soft palate
- The uvula
- The tongue base
- The lingual tonsil
- The throat
Why is my throat narrow?
There are multiple reasons why the throat narrows, the common ones being
- Narrow jaws leading to crooked teeth
- Lots of fat in the neck area (obesity)
- The tone of the muscles of the throat being lesser than normal
- Ingestion of alcohol and sedativemedication can make the muscle tone decrease as well
- Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
- Age can decrease muscle tone
- Certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, acromegaly, fused cervical vertebrae, trisomy 21, achondroplasia etc. can cause narrowing of the throat. Can anything else contribute to snoring?
Can anything else contribute to snoring?
Snoring can be made worse by the following:
- Age (As we become older, the likelihood of snoring increases)
- Being Male (Snoring is more common in men)
- Being overweight
- Alcohol and sedative drugs
- Excessive tiredness
- When the jaw is too far back (“receding” chin)
- Certain conditions within the central nervous system
PROBLEMS OF SNORING
What problems can snoring cause?
Snoring can cause significant problems for you and your bed partner. It causes sleep-deprivation for both of you and can affect your quality-of-life and your relationship. Snorers have been proven to have higher divorce rates compared to non-snorers.
Snoring is a significant and embarrassing social problem in certain situations, for example:
- Staying at a friend’s house
- On aeroplanes, trains and buses
- On work trips and holidays
Is snoring dangerous to my health?
Simple snoring alone is probably harmless to your health. However, as snoring becomes more severe, it can develop into Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). OSA is a serious medical problem and carries many significant risks.
There are generally three levels of snoring
- Non-apnoeic snoring (where there is good airflow through your throat)
- Upper airway resistance syndrome (where there is a reduced airflow through your throat periodically throughout the night.)
- Obstructive sleep apnoea (where there is no airflow through your throat periodically throughout the night) The second and the third conditions are serious conditions. Most of the people who snore are in those categories.
How do I know if I am getting good sleep?
A simple way to find out f you are having good sleep is by soring yourself with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. This is a useful scoring scale but for a full diagnosis an examination, questionnaire and sleep study are also necessary.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)?
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a severe form of snoring, when the air passages become completely blocked, stopping the flow of oxygen.
Typically, the complete blockage only occurs for an instant. When the blockage occurs, the level of oxygen in the blood drops. The body detects the low oxygen level and causes a “mini-wake-up”. The mini-wake-up opens the air passages and the oxygen level returns to normal.
In severe cases of OSA, this cycle can occur 50-100 times per hour!
Is OSA dangerous to my health?
OSA is a serious medical problem and carries many significant risks, including:
- Much higher risk of heart attack and stroke
- High blood pressure
- Long term, gradual impairment in brain function (due to reduced oxygen)
- Poor concentration, poor memory, poor work performance
- Car accidents from falling asleep at the wheel
- Higher risk of death
How can I tell if I have simple snoring alone, or Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)?
This requires assessment by a trained medical professional. However, tell-tale signs that you MAY have OSA include:
- Heavy snoring
- Breathing stops at night
- Choking episodes at night
- Difficulty waking up
- Feeling tired, drowsy and unrefreshed on waking up, even after a good 8 hours’ sleep
- Excessive tiredness or sleepiness during the day
- Taking naps during the day
- Falling asleep while watching TV
- Falling asleep during the day when left alone in a quiet place
- Falling asleep when a passenger in a car or when driving and stopped at traffic lights
What can happen if I keep on snoring with the conditions above?
If your snoring is related to UARS or OSA then there is a high chance you may develop
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Acid reflux disease
- Thyroid disease
- Daytime sleepiness
- Anxiety and Depression
- Lots of other metabolic disorders
- Headaches, migraines etc.
How can I find out what is causing my snoring?
When you visit the Sydney Centre for TMJ and Sleep, Dr Shah will examine your air passages and order special tests to determine exactly what is causing your snoring.
What will special tests be ordered?
All patients undergo a CT scan and a formal sleep study.
Some patients may also undergo allergy tests and nasal function tests if needed, which show the amount of airflow through your nose.
Despite all the tests and high-technology available, the most accurate tool is your doctor's knowledge, training and experience!
HOW CAN I STOP SNORING – SNORING TREATMENT
Can my snoring be fixed?
In almost every case of snoring, the cause can be found and treated.
At the Sydney Centre for TMJ and Sleep, we are dedicated to helping you STOP SNORING.
How is snoring treated?
The treatment used depends upon the cause. Because there are many different causes for snoring, there are also many different treatments available.
What is the treatment for snoring?
The treatment modalities include. Please see comprehensive list below
Lifestyle changes: Lifestyle changes may include such things as
- Avoiding alcohol and any sedating medications
- Losing weight
- Avoiding sleeping on your back
- Adding an extra pillow
- Using a nasal spray such as Fess to clear the nasal passages
Oral Appliances: There are a variety of appliances on the market but our centre predominantly uses Somnomed appliances as they are the Gold Standard appliances around the world and are backed by research.
CPAP: This is the gold standard of treatment
Surgery: Surgery may include removal of tonsils and adenoids, nasal surgery (to remove nasal polyps, reduce the turbinates that may have enlarged, deviated septum), UPPP, Laser assisted uvuloplasty, radiofrequency ablation. An ENT surgeon in our team will discuss what is the most appropriate for you.
What are the treatment options?
There are many, many different treatments available for snoring. Some have scientific backing, some are just scams! Here is just a brief list of SOME of the available options:
- CPAP – Automatic pressure
- CPAP – Fixed pressure
- CPAP – Nasal mask
- CPAP – Full-face mask
- CPAP – Nasal pillows
- Dental splint – boil-and-bite
- Dental splint – Dentist fitted
- Dental splint – Somnomed
- Maxillofacial surgery – Maxillo-mandibular advancement
- Nasal surgery
- Inferior turbinoplasty
- Functional Rhinoplasty
- Alar batten grafts
- Alar rim grafts
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
- Modified UPPP
- Laser UPPP
- PILLAR procedure
- Palatal advancement
- Hyoid suspension
- Genioglossus advancement
- Coblation tongue channelling
- Coblation lingual tonsillectomy
- Nasal strips
- Nasal splints
- Nasal springs
- Nasal sprays – vasoconstricors
- Nasal sprays – intranasal steroids
- Nasal sprays – lubricants
- Throat sprays
- Weight loss
- Anti-snoring pillows
- Magnetic pillows
- Anti-snoring rings
- Accu-pressure rings
- Anti-snoring herbs
- Anti-snoring aromatherapy,
- Special breathing techniques
- Playing the Digiredoo!
HELP! Why are there so many treatment options?
Snoring has many different causes. Each of these causes has a different treatment. That is why there are so many different treatment options.
Will one treatment option fix my snoring?
Usually NOT. In most people, snoring has multiple causes with blockage occurring at several sites. That is why using just one treatment option DOESN’T WORK for most people.
But I read in a magazine/ website/ pharmacy about a “miracle cure” that fixes ALL snoring!
Because the causes of snoring are different for every individual, any “miracle cure” that claims to cure you, WITHOUT ASSESSING YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL is likely to be a scam. It may work for a few people, but will not work for most.
But I read about a “miracle operation” that fixes ALL snoring!
Because the causes of snoring are different for every individual, any “miracle operation” that claims to cure EVERY snorer is unlikely to be successful. Operations must be targeted to the site of the blockage in each specific individual. Snoring Surgeons must have expertise in a range of operations to cover every possible site of blockage.
I’m confused! Each doctor I see tells me I need a different treatment!
Every doctor will have a different approach to snoring, depending on his/her area of expertise:
- Surgeons will recommend surgery
- Physicians will recommend CPAP
- Dentists will recommend dental splints
Non-doctors will recommend other techniques:
- Pharmacists will recommend sprays, tablets, pillows, nasal strips
- Internet websites will recommend splints, sprays and other “gimmicks”
- “Alternative” shops will recommend herbs, aromatherapy, etc
That is why we at the Sydney Centre for TMJ and Sleep you will only get the RIGHT treatment, TAILOR-MADE for you and backed by a scientific approach.
How will I know which treatment is right for me?
When you visit the Sydney Centre for TMJ and Sleep we will examine your air passages and order special tests to determine exactly what is causing your snoring and how best to treat the cause.
Please call our centre on
if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment to discuss your snoring problem.