What causes snoring?
Snoring is the sound of air moving through the back of the mouth, nose and throat. These noises occur when the nasal passage narrows, causing a whistling noise. The soft palate (roof the mouth) also vibrates, causing the fluttering vibration sounds. Finally, the narrowing of the passage causes turbulence (irregular air flow), which contributes to the fluttering. Snoring is often caused by many factors in individual patients, including alcohol, reflux, obesity, ageing and hormonal factors.
Can snoring be harmful to my health?
Snoring leads to fatigue, general tiredness and excessive daytime sleepiness. This tiredness can lead to significant risks in the areas of driving and workplace safety. In addition to this, medical research has shown that patients who snore are at an increased risk for high blood pressure and stroke. Sleep apnoea only compounds and adds to these risks.
Can I get non-surgical help for snoring?
Patients who snore can be helped by dental devices known as Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS). These devices bring the jaw forward during sleep. However, they don’t help all patients. Furthermore, nasal devices are generally not helpful, although they may slightly improve nasal airflow.