We have always laughed off a comical depiction of snoring in illustrated books, cartoons, or television sitcoms. Perhaps this is why, even today, snoring is not considered a serious illness or symptom. However, undiagnosed snoring can pose a major health risk.
Simply put, snoring happens when air cannot readily move through your nose or mouth. The soft tissues in your mouth, nose, and throat collide and vibrate when air is forced through an obstructed area. Snoring is the rattling, snorting, or growling noise caused by these vibrations.
General snoring among adults is a common occurrence, with approximately 40% of males and 30% of women snoring on occasion and 15% of the entire population snoring on a regular basis. Long-term loud snoring, on the other hand, may be a sign of a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.
If you are someone who snores often, read on to find out why you should consult a snoring specialist in Singapore to familiarise yourself more with the reasons and effects.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF SNORING?
Snoring occurs when your breathing becomes restricted through your nose and throat. It causes airflow turbulence and produces a distinctive snoring sound. However, if the airflow is fully obstructed, your breathing may cease for a brief while, causing your brain to react to the incident. When this happens on a frequent basis, your subconscious reaction disrupts your sleeping schedule. As your sleep quality suffers, you may experience headaches, irritability, and exhaustion. If this continues for an extended period of time, it might have a significant negative impact on your health.
In general, snoring causes can be split into two categories: temporary and structural factors. Temporary factors are those that exist for a short period of time and then typically go away after some time. In comparison, structural factors are long-term and will require medical attention for treatment.
- Any sedative medication you take
- Excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking
- If you have flu or a cold
- swollen tonsils or adenoids
- Seasonal allergies
- Sleeping positions
- Throat muscle weakness that will cause the throat to close during sleep
- Misaligned jaw caused by muscle tension
- Fat gathering in and out of the throat
- The shape of your head, neck and nose
- Sinus problems and nasal problems (any obstructions in the nasal passageway)
- Obesity or being overweight
HOW IS SNORING DIAGNOSED?
You will be required to answer numerous questions during the diagnostic process. These will be tied to the frequency of your snoring, the noises you emit when snoring, and the nutrition and lifestyle choices you make that affect your sleeping patterns. In addition to checking your mouth, nose, and throat, your snoring doctor in Singapore will also measure your blood pressure and heart rate.
A sleep study could be performed at home or at a sleep centre to analyse your sleep patterns. The following are evaluated through the study.
- The activities of the brain waves.
- Patterns associated with breathing, including any pauses or gasps for air.
- Heart rate and oxygen levels
- Movements that occur during sleep, including arm or leg movements, tossing and turning, etc.
- Sleep patterns and snoring.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSULT A DOCTOR?
Consulting a doctor about snoring may seem trivial, but because snoring can interfere with your sleep and, as a result, how you feel each day, it is critical to get a medical evaluation. Furthermore, snoring is one of the most prevalent symptoms of sleep apnea, an illness that, if not treated properly, can lead to serious health issues.
The following are some general indicators that an appointment should be scheduled with a snoring specialist in Singapore.
- If you snore for three days or more during the week
- If your snoring is extremely loud or bothersome
- If you are constantly gasping, choking or making snorting sounds
- Continuous insomnia
- Daily fatigue
- Significant mood swings (as a result of being fatigued)
- Loss of focus
- If you wake up at odd hours
- If you frequently wake up abruptly with a dry throat
- Pain that makes it difficult to sleep
- Teeth grinding at night
- Congestion or headaches in the morning
- High blood pressure
During the diagnosis, your doctor will assess these symptoms and advise you on the next steps to take.
HOW TO TREAT SNORING?
Snoring treatment is determined by the nature of the snoring and the problems it causes. Only your snoring doctor in Singapore can explain the benefits and drawbacks of treatment in your unique circumstances. There are various snoring treatment options, as listed below.
Sometimes, lifestyle changes can reduce snoring, with no additional treatment required. It is to be noted that lifestyle changes are still needed even when alternative treatments are offered.
- Maintain a healthy weight because being overweight or obese can increase your chances of snoring and sleep apnea.
- Stop smoking and cut back on alcohol and sedative medications.
- Sleep on your side instead of your back since laying on your back can cause your airways to clog more easily.
- Raising the head of your bed by 4 inches may be beneficial. Use risers, wedge pillows, or an adjustable frame to elevate your bed.
- Breathing strips and internal nasal expanders can also help open your nasal airway at night.
If you have nasal congestion from a cold or allergies, taking medicine will help ease the pressure and allow you to breathe more easily.
Building muscle tone in your mouth, tongue, and throat helps in the prevention of snoring. To be effective, these must be done on a daily basis for two or three months.
These are dental mouthpieces that can assist you in advancing the position of your jaw, tongue, and soft palate to keep your airway open.
If you decide to pursue this treatment, you should consult a dental specialist to ensure that it fits and is properly positioned. Your snoring doctor in Singapore should also be involved to guarantee that the dental appliance is working appropriately. These anti-snoring mouthpieces are classified into two categories.
- Mandibular advancement devices (to move the lower jaw forward)
- Tongue retaining devices: (to keep your tongue in position)
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
You should sleep with a mask over your nose or mouth in this treatment. The mask distributes pressurised air from a little bedside pump to keep your airway open while you sleep. This is mostly used to treat snoring when it is caused by OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea).
Surgery is rarely the first-line treatment for snoring or sleep apnea, though it may be an option if other treatments fail. Surgery to decrease or remove excess tissue or repair a structural flaw is used to treat snoring or sleep-disordered breathing. Some procedures can widen the airway by changing or removing neighbouring tissues. Nasal polyps, a deviated septum, and other nasal tube blockages can also be surgically treated.
CONSULT A SNORING SPECIALIST IN SINGAPORE WITH AMANDELA ENT
Amandela ENT is an ENT subspecialty group practice where patients are able to consult the most appropriate subspecialist for their condition, ensuring they receive the best possible care. Their medical team includes ENT experts, such as sinus specialists and head and neck cancer specialists, among others. From full clinical examination to day surgery, they offer a variety of services to their patients. For any inquiries or to schedule an appointment, visit them at https://www.amandela.sg/.