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Do You Snore Heavily? A Visit to an Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist Is in Order

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If you snore heavily and you are keeping your partner awake at night, you may have some options to consider. You might be suffering from sleep apnea, which can be treated by using a CPAP machine at night. This will reduce or eliminate your snoring and give you a good night's sleep. You may simply need your tonsils removed, which would open up your airway. When you and your partner are bothered by your snoring, it's time to meet with a doctor who can help.

What Surgery Can Do to Reduce Snoring

Surgery for snoring is generally only considered when other options have failed. Your doctor may decide to remove your tonsils and adenoids to make your airway larger. If you have nasal polyps that are blocking airflow through your nose, these may be removed as well. Sometimes a deviated septum causes snoring, and this can be corrected through surgery. Surgery can also be used to reconstruct the bones within your upper airway, which would allow air to pass more readily without causing a vibration.

Determining if the Benefits Outweigh the Risks

When you are waking up still tired, and you haven't found relief from your snoring, your ENT specialist can talk with you about your options. Surgery may not cure your snoring, and therefore surgery may not be worth the risk to you. Your ENT will have to do a careful analysis as to why you are snoring, as the problem could be that you weigh too much and the extra weight is causing your neck to be thicker than normal. 

Going Through a Sleep Study

If you haven't already gone through a sleep study to determine the cause of your snoring, you'll probably have to before getting any kind of surgery. A sleep study is a painless process, but you will be hooked up to a variety of wires throughout the night to measure your breathing, brain waves and oxygen saturation. Your doctor may determine that while you do snore loudly, it isn't causing you any harm while you sleep. If you don't suffer from sleep apnea, you and your spouse may have to live with your loud snoring.

If you are concerned about your snoring, or if it has changed recently, it's time to visit with a specialist who can get to the root of the problem. Even if surgery isn't the answer, figuring out why you are snoring is a good idea.