You’ve probably experienced lying in bed countless times listening to your partner snore. And while you may joke about it among friends, the reality is that it’s not a joke. What you’re hearing could be your loved one experiencing genuinely challenging breathing issues.
As reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine, snoring is a common ailment amongst U.S. adults, with 45% of adults occasionally snoring and 25% snoring regularly.
Apart from reducing sleep quality, snoring can be detrimental to a person’s health, increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure. It also may be associated with sleep apnea, more specifically the more common type known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a serious sleep breathing disorder.
At Silenso Clinic in San Diego, CA, sleep and snoring specialist Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe can help you find relief from snoring and sleep apnea, ultimately allowing you and your partner to lead healthier and more enjoyable lives.
Snoring or Sleep Apnea: Which One is It?
You may not know it, but there are different types of snoring, making it essential to determine the causes before deciding on the best treatment.
Snoring that’s not associated with sleep apnea can be caused by several factors, including:
- Older age, which can result in more relaxed throat muscles
- Nose or throat issues, such as a deviated septum
- Having an overbite where the jaw is positioned in a way that blocks the airway.
- Sleep style, especially sleeping on one’s back
- Use of alcohol or muscle relaxants close to or at bedtime
- Being overweight, which causes poor muscle tone and more tissue around the neck and under the tongue
Some of these causes may be out of your control, but others are not. For instance, your partner can try sleeping on their side or avoiding alcohol use before bed. However, many patients require medical intervention if their snoring persists.
For more severe cases of snoring, Silenso Clinic offers two cutting-edge office-based procedures:
- Elevoplasty – Involves the insertion of reabsorbable, unidirectional implants into the soft palate. The implants eventually dissolve and disappear, and your own scar tissue is what provides stability in the palate. These implants allow for limited traction of your soft palate, which allows for a combination of stiffening and repositioning of the soft palate.
- Valam® Snoring Rx Laser – This state-of-the-art laser’s high-energy pulses create micro incisions that enable Dr. Schalch Lepe to reduce or remove redundant tissues and shortening of the uvula.
Each of these procedures can be performed in the office for optimal convenience, comfort, and recovery time.
When Might Snoring Be Sleep Apnea?
At other times, the snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea, which can lead to severe health issues if left untreated. There are many potential causes of sleep apnea, including:
- Airway obstruction due to collapsed soft palate or enlarged tongue
- Enlarged tonsils
- Endocrine disorders
- Neuromuscular conditions (i.e., stroke or muscular dystrophy)
- Heart or kidney failure
- Genetic conditions, like cleft lip and cleft palate
Sleep apnea-related snoring can often times have different characteristics than primary snoring — and more severe consequences. You may have sleep apnea if any of these are true:
- Snore extremely loudly
- Pause your breathing for more than a few seconds
- Take shallow breaths
- Choke or gasp at night
- Are restless while sleeping
- If you feel excessively tired during the day, even after getting sufficient sleep
At Silenso Clinic, we offer a variety of convenient, office-based treatments for sleep apnea, including:
- Oral devices – Custom mouthguards that keeps the lower jaw forward and holds the airway open.
- Inspire hypoglossal nerve stimulation – A surgically implanted device that opens the airway from the inside out and keeps it from collapsing.
- Minimally invasive surgery – OSA can be remedied with minimally-invasive procedures, such as AIRLIFT hyoid suspension, which improves airflow, breathing, and sleep quality, as well as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty.
- Nasal optimization procedures (minimally invasive, office-based) – Addresses nasal obstruction in patients using oral appliances or CPAP to help them tolerate better and adhere to therapy .
Take Your Next Step Towards Your Best Night’s Sleep in San Diego, CA
Sleep allows your body to recharge, revitalize, and stay healthy. Without adequate sleep, your health and well-being are at risk. With simple, well-planned lifestyle changes and treatment, you — and those around you — can sleep better for a more rested tomorrow. An evaluation by Dr. Schalch Lepe and Home Sleep Diagnosis offer a simple way to see if you or a loved one suffers from obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, or another breathing-related condition.
To get started, schedule a consultation with double board-certified otolaryngologist and sleep medicine specialist Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe by completing an online appointment request or calling (858) 925-5800.