One in four U.S. adults snores regularly, and 45% are occasional snorers. While snoring can range from mildly startling to frustratingly disturbing, it can have adverse health effects – both for the sleeper and any partner trying to get a good night’s rest next to them (also known as “second hand snoring”)..
Fortunately, modern medicine has identified what causes snoring and how to treat it. In this article, Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe will explain what causes snoring and discuss the most effective treatment options for adults who snore.
What Causes Snoring?
When you sleep, your muscles relax. Your tongue, mouth, throat, soft palate, and tissues inside your nose can relax to a point that narrows the airways – thus constricting airflow and causing vibrations.
Patients who snore have no control over these muscles when they’re asleep, so many solutions rely on external devices or changed sleeping positions to try and address the issue. Non-surgical, procedural and surgical treatments are also available.
What Are the Health Risks of Snoring?
Snoring reduces sleep quality for the snorer and anyone who is close enough to hear it. The resulting lack of sleep can lead to chronic fatigue, moodiness, poor mental focus, and a lack of motivation.
A common misconception is that someone that is snoring is sleeping soundly (think of classic cartoons).
People who snore have, in fact, an increased risk of heart problems and high blood pressure. In some cases, chronic snoring might indicate underlying health issues, such as obstructive sleep apnea.
If you snore or know your partner does, it’s vital to seek treatment.
How to Treat Snoring
Effective snoring solutions depend on the condition’s severity. For some patients, the solution might be as simple as propping their back with a pillow and sleeping on their side (so called positional therapy). This approach prevents the tongue and throat falling backwards, which might solve the issue for less complex cases.
Others find relief from wearing an oral device that keeps the airway open, or mouth tape or a chinstrap that keeps the mouth closed and encourages nasal breathing. Some even get surgery to reduce the size of their soft palate.
For people who don’t wish to undergo a surgical procedure or wear a device while sleeping, Dr. Schalch Lepe often recommends Elevoplasty and Valam Snoring Rx Laser.
Elevoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery that lifts and stiffens the soft palate. Using unidirectional, barbed, resorbable suture implants, Dr. Schalch Lepe anchors the soft tissue, which prevents the soft palate from vibrating and collapsing, and widens the airway.
This procedure provides immediate and effective relief without needing to wear a device.
Valam Snoring Rx Laser
This innovative technique also focuses on the soft palate and uvula. Using a patented Valam diode laser, physicians stiffen the tissue in the target area, which reduces vibration and eliminates snoring.
This approach has outstanding results for snoring patients.
Snoring Treatments in Carmel Valley, CA
Snoring can be highly detrimental to your quality of life, daily performance, mood, and even relationships. With one or both of these straightforward procedures, Dr. Schalch Lepe can solve most snoring issues. To find out which method will best suit you, don’t hesitate to call (858) 925-5800 or book your consultation online now.