It’s estimated that almost half of American adults snore from time to time, while 25% snore regularly. And, there are many more people who suffer from snoring when you include the partners of snorers, whose sleep can be affected by the noise.
There are plenty of risk factors for snoring. Older men and postmenopausal women snore more often, and if you carry extra pounds, you may be more likely to snore. You could also be snoring more often or more severely if you have sinus problems.
When snoring is an issue, it’s time to see Alexis Furze, MD, for diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Furze and his team, who are located in Newport Beach, California, are snoring and sinus specialists. The good news is there’s a solution for your problem regardless of its cause.
The physics of snoring
In a perfect world, all of your breathing would go through your nose. There are so many benefits. Incoming air is modified to the ideal temperature and humidity, and it goes through the best immune system processing, because it’s scrubbed for particles and pathogens.
But, your nose can get stuffy due to a cold, allergy, obstruction, or another issue. Sometimes, you must breathe through your mouth.
As air moves through your mouth, and, more particularly, through the back of your throat, it passes through a narrowing that causes air speed to accelerate. This fast-moving air only becomes a problem if it begins to vibrate the soft tissue around the point of narrowing.
The characteristic sound of snoring comes from these tissue vibrations. The soft palate is the primary culprit, though other fleshy tissue can play a role, too.
Sinus problems and snoring
So, if snoring starts in the back of the throat, how can sinus problems cause the issue? It’s a matter of your brain switching from nose to mouth breathing. This happens whenever it’s necessary, even when you sleep.
Even though the sinuses aren’t directly involved in the creation of snoring noises, any sinus problem that causes the switch to mouth breathing contributes to snoring. It’s a real and problematic link.
Treating sinus problems
Respiratory infections are usually temporary problems. If you only snore when a cold or flu has you feeling stuffy, you probably have no major concerns.
However, physical obstructions in the sinuses can make you more prone to congestion and mouth breathing. Having a deviated septum or nasal polyps are two common obstructions that can interfere with drainage from your sinuses, which can initiate the switch to mouth breathing. Each condition can contribute to chronic sinusitis, which is an ongoing state of congestion that can trigger snoring.
There are a wide range of treatments for sinus-related snoring, most of which depend on treating the sinus condition. If you snore, Dr. Furze can perform a thorough evaluation and discuss your next steps. To learn more, call 949-389-6673 to book an appointment with the practice of Alexis Furze, MD, today.