Are You A Snorer?
Snoring sounds disturbing and steals precious time from sleep. However, snoring could be a sign of something deeper. When a person falls asleep and progresses from light sleep to deep sleep, the muscles in the mouth, tongue, and throat relax. The tissues in the throat can relax enough to block the airway and vibrate partially. The more narrowed the airway, the more forceful the flow becomes, causing the sound of snoring. Snoring could be a sign of a deviated septum, which can be dangerous if left untreated.
Could it be a deviated septum?
About 1 in 4 American adults snore consistently, and there are many reasons why. The composition of a person’s mouth, sinus issues, or alcohol consumption are common reasons. Allergies, a cold, and excess body weight can also contribute to snoring. However, a deviated septum is one of the more common causes. When the nasal septum or the thin walls between the person’s nasal passage moves to one side, a deviated septum occurs. The nasal passage reduces airflow as the nasal septum becomes deviated or off-centered.
Beware of sleep apnea
A deviated septum is harmless in many cases. For some, this simple issue could be the underlying cause of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If a person snores loudly and feels tired even after a whole night’s sleep, sleep apnea may be to blame. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to insomnia, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and a reduced lifespan.
When is it time to see a doctor?
Society has normalized snoring as a sign of deep sleep. Snoring must be closely monitored, and certain signs should signal a doctor’s visit. For example, if a blocked nostril does not respond to over-the-counter treatment, see a doctor. Sleep difficulties, including waking up suddenly in the middle of the night, and frequent sinus infections are other signs. An ENT specialist can consider the symptoms and inspect the nose and sinuses.
Is relief possible with septoplasty?
There are many treatments for sleep apnea. Some include lifestyle changes or the use of machines that can reduce sinus pressure. However, severe cases may require a septoplasty. Septoplasty is a medical procedure that straightens the bone and cartilage, dividing the space between two nostrils. During this procedure, the doctor repositions the patient’s nasal septum to the middle of the nose.
Moving things back in place
The goal of septoplasty is to correct the deviated septum. The surgeon will first lift the lining covering the cartilage. From there, the patient’s nasal septum is repositioned to the center of the nose. In some cases, the surgeon may have to cut or remove parts of the septum. The surgeon may also reshape the bone and cartilage in the nose. Septoplasties have evolved to more minimally invasive means, meaning reduced downtime and improved success rates. After septoplasty, nasal breathing should improve.
Do not ignore the signs
Loud snoring can be a sign of a serious problem. Keep an active ear out to listen for the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. From there, speak with a doctor to find out if septoplasty is best. If a doctor finds a deviated septum, the surgery can help. In fact, most people find that septoplasty can improve the condition and improve breathing. This, in turn, will minimize or even conquer snoring.