Snoring is a strange problem. Strange because it’s the only medical condition someone can have which directly affects other people’s health.
Almost half of us snore, but for an unfortunate minority, snoring can be a serious problem, resulting in sleep deprivation, health issues, and relationship problems.
Snoring is no joke
In movies and on TV, snoring is always used for comedic effect, but the reality is much more serious.
For the person snoring, they may be suffering from sleep apnea, which affects about 1-in-4 snorers. This is a disorder which interrupts breathing during sleep, with the sufferer literally stopping breathing for short periods.
Sleep apnea is caused by the collapse of soft tissue in the airway – usually resulting from obesity, a large tongue, or weak muscles in the airway – which obstructs breathing and prevents oxygen from reaching the lungs.
This constant interruption of oxygen can have serious short and long term health risks, including high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
For the partner of a snorer, life isn’t much fun either.
Sleep deprivation leads to a long list of health issues, including weight gain, memory loss, and a weakened immune system.
Sleep deprivation can lead to mood swings, erratic behaviour and a quick temper. In the long term, it can even cause depression or anxiety.
Loss of concentration during the day results in an increase in accidents, both at home and at work, with an estimated 1-in-6 deaths on the road caused by tiredness.
Snoring can also put a strain on relationships, creating not only tiredness but also frustration and resentment between couples. It can interfere with sexual and emotional intimacy, and can push couples to sleep in separate bedrooms.
What causes people to snore
Our bodies relax during sleep, and this makes everything soften and collapse, including the soft tissues in our throat.
This creates an obstruction in our airways, narrowing the airflow and creating higher pressure. This higher pressure is enough to vibrate the soft tissue surrounding it, resulting in snoring.
If it was just a case of our bodies relaxing during sleep, then everyone would snore, but that’s not the case. Some people are more susceptible to snoring than others, especially those who are overweight, drink or smoke.
How to stop snoring
If snoring is a serious issue for you, then the good news is, for most people, a simple procedure can help, if not fix it altogether.
Because snoring is caused by loose, flabby tissue in the throat, the treatment simply hardens-up the tissue to stop it from vibrating excessively.
Using low-temperature radio waves from an Ellman Surgitron, the soft palate is encouraged to stiffen and shrink by gently scarring the muscles.
The operation only takes about 30 minutes, during which time a local anaesthetic is used, and after which normal activities can be carried out, with only a few minor restrictions.
Let everyone get a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep is essential to a person’s wellbeing – not to mention their relationship.
The real tragedy of snoring is how it affects those around you.
From partners to family members, to roommates… even neighbours if it’s that bad!
Our snoring treatments can help you stop snoring and let your loved ones finally get a good night’s sleep.
Dr Henryk Poczwa has performed numerous successful treatments to combat snoring over the last decade. As one of the first pioneers of the procedure in New Zealand under the auspices of an ENT specialist, he has the skills, knowledge, and experience to help.
Contact us today with any questions you may have about our snoring treatments. Our friendly and experienced staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.