Nasal polyps number among many causes of obstructions within the nasal passages. Such obstructions can lead to increased strain being required for the simple act of breathing. When asleep, this can often enough result in snoring. Read on to discover the link between nasal polyps and snoring in an effort to combat this undesirable activity.
The Nose Knows
Obstructive sleep apnea is one common cause of snoring and is typically characterized by symptoms in the nose, throat and mouth. Those suffering from this condition will know that, over the course of the night, breathing may repeatedly start and stop. The relaxation of throat muscles can, and often does, also result in snoring. More recent evidence indicates, however, that the health of the nose is closely tied to snoring.
Nose hairs, believe it or not, actually do serve a critical purpose. They filter out environmental invaders such as dust mites before these might reach our lungs. If anything should obstruct or block off our nasal cavities, the body will revert back to a far less efficient form of breathing, using the mouth instead. The mouth and throat are not endowed with any of the filtration tools characteristic of the nose and, thus, are ill-equipped to provide a first line of defense against dust and other undesirable elements. Furthermore, snoring often results from breathing through the mouth.
Nose Dive: Polyps
Regardless of the cause of the obstruction, irregularities within the nasal cavity can lead to excessive vibration of air as it passes through these canals. This is what you hear when someone is snoring. There are many reasons why nasal passages may be partially blocked off, ranging from the common cold or an allergic reaction to nasal polyps.
Polyps are soft growths of mucosa tissue that clutter the nasal cavity and sinuses. An X-ray can spot them readily enough. Some can be quite small and may go forever unnoticed. Others can develop into large, cumbersome irritants. Asthma, infections, chronic allergies and long-spanning inflammation can all incite polyps to develop. Cigarette smoke leads to increased inflammation and, accordingly, smokers run a greater risk of developing polyps.
Nasal Polyp Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Should cold symptoms extend for months on end, or should partial or total loss of sense of smell occur, the culprits may be nasal polyps. A less common symptom is the loss of one’s sense of taste. If you suspect that you have nasal polyps, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your physician. A CT scan will determine if you indeed have this condition, indicated on the scan by small, opaque splotches within the nasal cavity.
Your doctor may determine that surgery is necessary to remove the obstructions. Such surgeries are safe and remarkably effective. Note, however, that nasal polyps may grow back with time. The occasional surgery, every few years, may be necessary to maintain easy breathing.
If you are a frequent snorer and are concerned that you might have developed nasal polyps, or if you are snoring and are unsure of the cause, Atlanta ENT can help you identify and resolve the problem. Visit our website to find our answer to snoring. You could be breathing an unobstructed sigh of relief sooner than you might think.