How Your Sinuses Cause You to Snore
Hearing someone snoring can make it hard to sleep. However, the person who suffers most from the effects of snoring is the snorer. People who snore have drastically reduced quality of sleep. This leads to difficulty concentrating, headaches, sore throat, and constant mental fog. People with chronic sinusitis are more susceptible to issues with snoring.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring occurs when breathing is obstructed and air passes through surrounding tissues. This position you sleep in, drinking alcohol, or obesity can make this worse. Sinus inflammation can cause obstructions that lead to snoring. Blocked nasal passages cause you to breathe through your mouth which is less efficient, as the structures that lead to the lungs aren’t as flexible as those in the nose. The nasal passages also humidify and filter air so that the lungs can more easily make use of it.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
The most dangerous result of snoring is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when breathing stops while sleeping. This can occur due to a variety of factors, however snoring is one of the most common causes. Snoring causes tissues to settle in a way that prevents air from entering the throat. Not getting enough air is clearly a problem, however sleep apnea tends to occur in short bursts of a few seconds. Small lapses in breathing add up over time with harmful results. The most common symptoms are difficulty in concentrating and waking up breathless. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to problems with blood pressure and heart function.
How to Stop Snoring
Traditional methods of stopping snoring rely on lifestyle changes to promote proper breathing. However, those methods are ineffective when the cause is sinusitis. Sinusitis requires its own treatments to reduce inflammation. Over the counter remedies such as nasal sprays and decongestants can help with acute inflammation. Chronic sinusitis requires more involved strategies to resolve. Sometimes a regimen of antibiotics or steroids are enough to clear up inflammation.
Other cases require surgery to root out deep seated inflammation, such as balloon sinuplasty. Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that reopens inflamed sinuses. This lets mucus and debris drain from the sinuses so inflammation can heal. As inflammation reduces, your body can start using the right airways again and stop snoring.
Seeing a Sinus Specialist
Sinusitis causes many complications, but losing sleep may be the most frustrating. Luckily, ENTs have the training to remedy sinusitis no matter the cause. Speaking to a sinus specialist can help you lay out a treatment plan for your sinusitis. Once your inflammation has been handled you can go back to breathing and sleeping easier.