You might not realise you snore until a loved one puts their foot down and tells you, but for many people who have snored since adolescence, you’re probably aware of it. Whether it wakes you up, your significant other up, or even those in adjacent room, snoring can be embarrassing at its mildest and a sign of something more sinister at its worst. Here’s when you should seek the advice of an ENT specialist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) for snoring problems in London.
What causes snoring problems?
Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft tissues in your nose in the upper airway. The muscles in this area relax and air has to flow through a narrowed throat, causing the pressurised sound. It’s estimated that 15 million people in the UK snore, with 10.4 million of those being male and 4.5 million being female. Recent evidence suggests that severe, chronic snoring may even cause thickening of the carotid arteries and potentially increase the risk of stroke.
Obstructive sleep apnoea
Obstructive sleep apnoea is one of the most prevalent snoring problems in the UK that can be treated in London. There are two different variances of obstructive sleep apnoea:
- Apnoea: where the muscles and soft tissues in the throat relax and collapse sufficiently to cause a total blockage of the airway; it’s called an apnoea when the airflow is blocked for 10 seconds or more
- Hypopnoea: a partial blockage of the airway that results in an airflow reduction of greater than 50% for 10 seconds or more
Causes of snoring and sleep apnoea
- Being overweight: excessive body fat increases the bulk of soft tissue in the neck, which can place a strain on the throat muscles. Excess stomach fat can also lead to breathing difficulties, which can worsen snoring and sleep apnoea.
- Being male: possibly related to body fat distribution, men are more likely to encounter sleep apnoea and snoring than women.
- Alcohol and smoking: sleep apnoea and smoking can be worsened and developed if you drink a lot of alcohol and/or regularly smoke
- Menopause: women going through the menopause can experience changes in their muscles, causing their throat muscles to relax more than they previously did.
- Nasal congestion: sleep apnoea and snoring occur more often in people with nasal congestion, such as a deviated septum, where the tissue in the nose that divides the two nostrils is bent to one side. Nasal polyps are also a causing of sleep apnoea and snoring.
Snoring treatments in Harley Street, London
There are a number of snoring treatments that may be suitable for your case. This may involve minor nasal & sinus surgery such as correcting a deviated septum, removing nasal polyps, and addressing tonsil problems. Before suggesting treatments for snoring problems, our ENT specialist Mr Hughes will meet with you to conduct a thorough consultation and assessment to ensure your proceeding treatment is the best option for you. Get in touch today to solve your snoring problems on 020 3897 0667.