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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is there something that can be done medically or surgically to stop me from snoring? Are there treatments or cures for snoring?

    I've recently entered into a serious relationship and my partner tells me i snore terrible. Until now of course it hasnt been an issue. I'd really like to try reduce my snoring or stop it all together if possible for my partners sake as he is now sleeping in a seperate room which isnt so great for our relationship.
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    A/Prof Daniel Novakovic

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    Dr Daniel Novakovic is an Australian Otolaryngologist (ENT Surgeon) with postgraduate international dual subspecialty fellowship training in the fields of Laryngology and Head and Neck … View Profile

    This question is difficult to answer without more information including a detailed history and examination.

    Snoring tends to occur when part of the upper respiratory tract (back of nose, back of mouth and throat) vibrates as air runs across it. It occurs more at night because of muscle relaxation (ie decreased tone) which allows certain parts of the airway to become floppy and vibrate. It is generally made worse by alcohol and other agents which relax muscles.

    The treatment depends upon exactly why you are snoring and whether it is just snoring or actually sleep apnea (ie. pauses in your breathing associated with a drop in oxygen level). Simple snoring tends to be just annoying but if you wake feeling unrefreshed, have a poor nights sleep, have daytime tiredness or have blood pressure or heart problems this may point to obstructive sleepo apnea syndrome (OSAS) which is much more serious.

    Many anatomical factors can lead to snoring including - blocked nose, large tonsils, large tongue base, thick neck, obesity, long floppy palate or small jaw. Surgery aimed at correcting each of these factors is possible. Other options include the use of medical therapy to improve nose breathing or dental devices which pull the jaw and tongue forward. The treatment of your snoring depends upon the causative factors. I would thoroughly recommend review by an ENT surgeon with an interest in sleep surgery for the most accurate assessment of what can be done.

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    The Sleep Health Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of ‘valuing sleep’ as part of a healthy lifestyle alongside regular exercise, a … View Profile

    Treatments for snoring would include:

    • Weight Loss
    • Avoiding sleeping on your back
    • Avoiding drinking alcohol before going to bed Treatment of nasal congestion or obstruction using sprays Use of a dental device called a mandibular advancement splint Surgical treatments, usually by an ENT surgeon.
    • Use of a CPAP device
     It is important to distinguiish between snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
    Snoring is generally an inconvenience but not a medical problem (although there are some research studies which suggest snoring may be associated with health problems, and with learning difficulties in children) Obstructive sleep apnea is a more severe problem, which normally occurs in snorers. It is associated with numerous health problems and is important to treat appropriately.
    See the Sleep Health Foundation Website  under the section of Snoring and Breathing in Sleep for further information.
    Answer provided by : Dr Fergal O'Donoghue Respiratory and Sleep Physician Austin Health

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