Snoring is a common sleep disorder. It can adversely affect the quality of your sleep and even negatively impact the relationship you share with your partner. On one end of the spectrum is a “light and harmless” snoring, but one needs to be cautious of a more serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea. Since people snore for many different reasons, understanding the reason behind your snoring episode is helpful in treating it. The ENT Clinic Singapore has UK, Australia and Canada qualified, ENT surgeons who have a cumulative experience of several decades. They can effectively handle such snoring cases through personalized care. The clinic helps you in finding the right solution to a trouble-free sleep for you and your partner.

So let us see what exactly snoring is?

Snoring is the noise caused when air is unable to move through your nose and throat while you are sleeping. When this happens, it causes the surrounding tissues to vibrate in the upper airway structures like your tongue and pharyngeal walls. During sleep, the muscle tone in your body reduces and this relaxation reduces the airway space causing turbulence and limited airflow. It is this combination that creates an unpleasant noise which we refer to as snoring.

What are the causes of snoring?

There could be many reasons for snoring. When the airway you inhale is narrowed, the more forceful the tissue vibration becomes. Some of the commonly known reasons include:
  • The structure of your mouth: If you have a thick soft palate, then this can hinder the airflow. Any structural abnormalities which obstruct airflow tend to increase the vibration and thus snoring.
  • Obesity: Individuals who are overweight snore more. This is because they have extra tissues at the back of their throat which hinders airflow.
  • Alcohol consumption: Consuming high amounts of alcohol, prior to your sleep can relax the throat muscles narrowing the airway passage.
  • Nasal disorders: Having chronic nasal congestion may lead to snoring
  • Sleeping position: When you sleep on your back, then there is an increased chance of snoring.
· Sleep Deprivation: If you aren’t receiving sufficient sleep, the throat muscles relax inducing snoring.

What are the symptoms associated with snoring?

Snoring is generally associated with an underlying sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. If the below symptoms are present, then an evaluation by a qualified otolaryngologist is essential. Snoring and sleep apnea are common conditions that the ENT clinic Singapore manages for both adults and children.
The common symptoms include :
  • Excessive sleepiness in the daytime
  • Difficulty focusing at work
  • Breathing pauses during sleep
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Feeling tired upon waking
  • Choking at night
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain at night
  • Loud snoring which disrupts your partner’s sleep
  • In children, it could show up as behavioral disorders and poor performance at school

When to see an ENT doctor?

If you are facing any of the aforementioned symptoms, it might be due to an underlying condition like obstructive sleep apnea. Children too may have snored at night and is it important that you consult the right ENT specialist to optimize your treatment options. Children who have enlarged tonsils, obesity, and chronic nasal congestions may have a narrowed airway passage which could result in OSA. The ENT clinic Singapore offers a range of sleep study options through ambulatory home sleep studies. The ENT clinic Singapore provides excellent care to its patients.

How does your doctor diagnose your condition?

Your doctor will review your past medical records along with understanding the signs and symptoms. Your partner may also be questioned on the frequency of snoring and its intensity. A physical examination may be performed and your ENT doctor will ask you to conduct a sleep study based on the severity of the snoring symptoms.

What is a sleep study?

This is an in-depth analysis of the breathing pattern during sleep called a polysomnography. In this study, you are connected to multiple sensors and observed overnight. This may happen at your ENT center or from home. Some of the information which is recorded by your ENT specialist is:
  • Brain wave patterns
  • Blood oxygen levels
  • Breathing and heart rate
  • Stages of sleep
  • Body movements
Additionally, The ENT Clinic has the option of performing this sleep study from home called the WatchPAT test. This test accurately screens, detects and follow-ups on sleep apnea.

What are the available treatment options?

  • Your ENT doctor will first recommend you to adopt certain lifestyle modifications like
  • Losing weight
  • Regularising on sleep
  • Treating chronic nasal congestions
  • Avoiding alcohol usage at night
  • Correcting on your sleep positioning
If your snoring is due to obstructive sleep apnea then your doctor will suggest the use of an oral appliance which helps to keep the airway open. Another option is applying continuous positive airway pressure by using a mask that lets in pressurized air to flow in. If structural abnormalities are present, these could be corrected through surgery.

The ENT Clinic Singapore specializes in carrying out procedures like uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) where the excess tissues from the throat is removed under general anesthesia. The clinic also has facilities for tongue base reduction surgery and other procedures like rhinoplasty and septoplasty. With its state of the art facilities, the ENT clinic in Singapore regularly remains the patient’s choice to resolve snoring woes to finally receive that much needed restful sleep.