Many people lose sleep because they, or their bed partner, snores. Snoring is caused by the vibration of the tissue in the mouth, nose and back of the throat. A soft pallet is often the culprit in regular snorers, and it is estimated that as many as 80 percent of people who snore do so because they have a soft pallet. Other causes include blockage of the nose, alcohol consumption, medications, sleep position or being overweight.
One in four people have chronic snoring, which can be a sign of a more serious health problem known as obstructive sleep apnea.
If you snore, you are very familiar with the impact lack of sleep has on your quality of life. Snoring not only disrupts sleep, it may also be a sign of a serious condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Your snoring may also be affecting your loved ones.
To find out if you should be concerned about your snoring, take our snore test online!
Common sleep disorders include difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, staying awake, excessive sleepiness, sleepwalking, nightmares, snoring, difficulty breathing during sleep, narcolepsy and restless legs during sleep.
If you’re concerned that you may suffer from a sleep disorder, take our sleep test online!
How is Snoring Treated?
Lifestyle changes are often the best early treatment plan. Lifestyle changes that may reduce or eliminate snoring include:
- Losing weight
- Sleeping on your side, instead of your back
- Avoiding alcohol and sedatives before sleeping
- Quitting smoking
- Using nasal strips to improve airflow
If these options have been tried and the snoring persists, it may be time to seek medical attention. Treatments that Atlanta ENT can provide for snoring include:
- Pillar Implants—Five tiny inserts are placed in your soft pallet to help provide support. Because no tissue is removed, there is minimal discomfort and short recovery time, often as little as one day. This procedure is simple and done in our office.
- Oral Appliance—We provide custom-made oral appliances to assist in the relief of snoring.
- Surgery—Surgical options usually involve removing excess tissue from the throat.
Atlanta ENT: Ending Snoring
The soft palate is almost always involved in chronic snoring, but there may be other factors as well, such as blockage of the nasal airway, tonsils and adenoids. During your office visit, your doctor will examine all parts of your upper airway and assess which areas are contributing to your snoring. A treatment plan addressing your specific anatomy may include lifestyle modifications, minimally invasive or surgical treatments.
Only a full examination by our board certified ENT physicians can determine the treatment best for you. If your soft palate is a factor, the Pillar Procedure may be an effective treatment option for you, because it stiffens the soft palate to reduce or eliminate the tissue vibration that can cause snoring. The Pillar Procedure can be performed as a stand-alone procedure or used in combination with other treatments and lifestyle changes to help patients stop snoring. More than 25,000 people worldwide have been treated with the Pillar Procedure. Atlanta ENT has been treating patients with the Pillar Procedure since 2003.
Atlanta ENT: Common Breathing Disorders
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
Our doctors can treat several breathing disorders, including asthma and allergic rhinitis. Asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease of the airway, is one of the most common breathing disorders in the United States. People living with asthma suffer from wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is characterized by sneezing, congestion and red, watery eyes. Our doctors can help relieve your asthma or hay fever symptoms through a balance of medication and lifestyle changes.