Snoring is caused by the vibration of tissues of the soft palate, tongue and walls of the pharynx (Throat). Snoring is usually multi-factorial and multi-level.
A more severe form of snoring is called OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, where the patient has episodes of respiratory obstruction through the night, sometimes as many as 60 times an hour or even higher.
What causes Snoring?
Snoring is seen in persons with increased resistance to airflow through the nose and throat. This means that there is an obstruction to airflow due to a combination of many factors like a deviated nasal septum, large inferior turbinates, nasopharyngeal adenoids, large and bulky soft palate, large and bulky tongue and large tonsils.
Investigations may include nasal endoscopy, laryngoscopy, a sleep study (Polysomnography) or a dynamic MRI sleep study.
Treatment of snoring
Treatment of snoring includes a change in the lifestyle of the patient. Patients who are overweight have to lose weight, with diet control and exercise. Yoga and breathing exercises also improve muscle tone and help decrease snoring. However, patients who are not overweight or those who do not improve after lifestyle modification can opt for surgery.
Surgical treatment will address the multiple factors which are responsible for snoring. Newer surgical procedures like palatoplasties, pharyngoplasties and the use of Coblation assisted reduction of the soft tissues of the throat and nose are resulting in good outcomes.
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