If you suffer from poor sleep due to heavy snoring or sleep apnea, you may feel fatigued on a regular basis. You may also feel alienated from your spouse or partner, as they cannot sleep through the noise every night. Snoring and sleep apnea might seem like minor issues to people who are not familiar with them or who have never gone for long periods of time without getting a full nights sleep.
What can you do to solve your sleep apnea or snoring problem? Ear, nose and throat doctors recommend several forms of treatment, ranging from simple changes in lifestyle to more invasive procedures, such as rhinoplasty surgery.
About sleep apnea
First of all, let’s define what we are talking about when we discuss sleep apnea and snoring. Apnea episodes are gaps in breathing. Most people experience these during the night at some point or other, but their duration is so short, and there are so few of them that they are not noticeable at all.
However, when a person has sleep apnea, these gaps in breath are much more pronounced and more frequent. The person experiencing sleep apnea will stop breathing altogether for a few seconds. They will seem to struggle and heave until they inhale again abruptly, usually in between loud snores.
These episodes may or may not wake the sleeper in that moment. Whether they do or not, they will affect the quality of sleep that the person is getting. Chronic fatigue and exhaustion are highly associated with sleep apnea.
Quite often, breathing problems during sleep can be exacerbated by excess body weight, and they can even be made worse by sleeping in the wrong position. If your snoring and/or sleep apnea are new developments since you have gained some weight, they can often be alleviated by increased exercise and a better diet to lose weight.
Sometimes, eating or drinking dairy products close to bedtime can exacerbate snoring and apnea issues by thickening the mucous in the throat. Drinking lots of water and eating a healthy diet can help. If you have gained weight recently and are not sleeping well, talk to your doctor about how you can decrease the occurrence of sleep apnea and snoring.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
If the apnea is moderate to severe, your doctor may prescribe the use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine. These have a breathing mask that you strap on, and resemble the trunk of an elephant. While they can greatly improve your breathing while you sleep, getting comfortable wearing one while you sleep can be a big adjustment. That is why more and more people are choosing rhinoplasty for a permanent solution to snoring and sleep apnea.
Popular opinions may be that people get rhinoplasty surgery because they want smaller, straighter noses, but that is not always the case. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to look your best or getting a surgery that will help you feel better about your appearance, rhinoplasty is often performed to alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring.
Often, sleep apnea and snoring are both caused by blocked airways. You may notice that you snore more often or louder when you have a cold or sinus infection. Chronic snoring or sleep apnea can also be caused by a broken nose healing at a different angle, or it can be a case of airways that have never been fully clear. These are cases in which a simple rhinoplasty surgery can correct a potentially serious medical problem.
If you have questions about nose problems or are interested in nose rhinoplasty make an appointment to see our rhinoplasty specialist.