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Silence The Night: Finding Your Snoring Permanent Solution

Snoring is a common issue in bedrooms worldwide, with almost half of all adults experiencing it at some point. Contrary to what some believe, it is not an “old person problem”; it’s prevalent in people of all ages. The reason behind snoring is simple enough: during sleep, your throat muscles relax, which narrows the airway. This causes the air passing through to make the tissue in your throat vibrate; this is where that loud sound comes from.

snoring permanent solution

With that said, exactly what loosens the muscles in question to such a degree, varies from person to person. If your bed partner is constantly complaining about your snoring, you might find that simple changes can make a big difference. But if it’s disrupting your sleep so much so that you are tired throughout the day, it can indicate a more serious underlying condition like sleep apnea.

Also Read: How to Cure Snoring And Sleep Apnea (Yes, Really)

Common Triggers that Cause Snoring

Here are some of the most common triggers for snoring:

Your age

As people age, the muscles in the throat, like other muscles in the body, lose tone and strength. This can make the throat area less firm and more prone to collapse or obstruction during sleep.

Your physical fitness

When you have extra fat around your throat, it squeezes the space inside, making it smaller. So, when you breathe, the air has less room to move through.

Your nasal and sinus issues

If your airways are blocked, if you have a stuffy nose, or if you have a deviated septum (a shift in the nasal cavity), these can make breathing difficult and cause snoring.

Your sleeping position

When you lie on your back, gravity can cause your tongue to fall backward into your throat. This constricts the throat passage through which air flows into your lungs.

Your lifestyle

Drinking alcohol, smoking, and some medications like alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan) weaken the muscles in and around the upper airway (pharyngeal, palatal, and tongue muscles) much more than usual, which can also contribute to snoring.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Loud and persistent snoring can sometimes be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common type; it is when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep. The relaxation of these muscles can cause snoring, but when it comes to sleep apnea, it’s more severe because the respiratory tract can tighten up so much that it interrupts your breathing.

Simply put, snoring is a noise problem, but sleep apnea is a breathing problem. In sleep apnea, the pauses in breathing (which can last from a few seconds to minutes) lower the oxygen level in your blood. Your brain senses this inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. This is usually so brief that you don’t remember it, but it can happen many times in an hour and impair your ability to reach the deep, restful phases of sleep.

So, while not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, chronic snoring, especially when accompanied by daytime fatigue, is a red flag and worth discussing with your healthcare provider.

How Snoring Can Compromise Your Health

Constant snoring not only impacts the quality of sleep for the snorer, but it also affects anyone else within earshot. Health implications associated with sleep deprivation are well-documented: it makes you feel drowsy, fatigued, irritable, and unable to focus. Over time, these symptoms can snowball and influence all areas of one’s life, from job performance to personal relationships.

In case snoring eventually causes severe or moderate obstructive sleep apnea – as it does in many cases – it can lead to a wide range of medical issues:

  • The strain on your heart with repeated waking and oxygen deprivation can lead to higher blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and heart attacks.
  • The intensity of snoring might be linked to the risk of carotid atherosclerosis, where the arteries in the neck narrow due to fatty deposits; this can make you more vulnerable to a stroke.
  • Because of the disordered way in which throat muscles behave during sleep, people with sleep apnea are more likely to experience GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • The lack of restful sleep affects the brain’s ability to regulate emotions and can lead to increased stress, mood changes, anxiety, and depression.
  • When sleep is constantly interrupted, it can weaken the body’s ability to fend off infections.

Myofunctional Therapy: Non-Invasive, Anti-Snoring Exercises

Snoring happens because the muscles in the upper airway collapse more easily during sleep, obstructing the airway. So it makes sense that improving the muscle tone here will help reduce the snoring. This is what myofunctional therapy is all about. It uses exercises that target these tongue and throat muscles, to strengthen them.

Your myofunctional therapy sessions can include the following mouth and throat exercises to reduce snoring:

  • Tongue positioning: These are designed to train the tongue to rest in the correct position – up against the roof of the mouth. This can help keep the air channel open during sleep.
  • Strengthening exercises: The therapy includes mouth exercises to make the muscles in the throat, soft palate, and tongue stronger. It can help prevent them from collapsing and blocking the airway.
  • Breathing techniques: You may also be taught to breathe the right way by focusing on nasal breathing rather than mouth breathing. Nasal breathing is more conducive to keeping the airway open.

Also Read: From Restless Nights to Refreshed Mornings: Reduce Snoring With Expert Care

Minimally Invasive Palatal Stiffening: When Non-Surgical Treatments Don’t Work

If you haven’t found success with the at-home remedies and myofunctional therapy, speak with your family doctor or an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) for advice. They may recommend using a CPAP machine; it’s a device that gently blows air into a mask you wear during sleep, helping to maintain an open airway. A custom-made jaw advancer may also help. It is designed to move your lower jaw or tongue forward to keep your airway clear.

But if none of this works, a small surgery might be your only resort. Minimally Invasive Palatial Stiffening (MIPS) has given some very good results to people who snore heavily or have sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA). The basic idea behind MIPS is to firm up the soft palate in your throat. Why? Because a softer palate vibrates more when you breathe at night, and this vibration causes snoring.

MIPS is a quick procedure that takes about three minutes. Here is how it works:

  • First, the uvula (the dangling tissue at the back of your throat) is trimmed. If your uvula is too long, it can contribute to snoring by obstructing airflow. It is important to note that not everyone who gets the MIPS procedure gets a UPP procedure.
  • Then, a small laser diode is used to make a precise abrasion in the center of your soft palate. This doesn’t mean cutting or removing large parts; it’s more about creating a small, controlled change.
  • The laser then works under the lining of the palate on either side. This causes the palate to tighten as it heals over the next few days. Think of it like strengthening a loose, floppy area so it becomes firmer.

This reduces the vibrations in your throat tissues — the main cause of the snoring sound. So, by making the palate tighter, MIPS minimizes these vibrations and, consequently, the snoring.

The recovery is as quick as the procedure. You might have a sore throat for about a week, but other discomfort is minimal. You can get back to your routine in about a day. Most patients notice better sleep and less snoring within a week.

At Florida Sinus and Snoring Specialists, we offer MIPS as well as several other treatments – both surgical and non-surgical – to treat a wide range of sinus, nasal, and sleeping disorders. Call us at 954-983-1211 to schedule an appointment and get ready for a sustainable solution to your snoring.