Snoring is multifactorial
. It is caused by problems in the:-
Allergy. This is not amenable to surgery and must be treated continuously with sprays such as Nasonex or Rhinocort. Bent septum. Septoplasty is the name given to the operation to straighten the septum. Polyps. These can be detected by examining the nose with an endoscope (telescope) or by a CT scan. Adenoids. Usually only found in children, though still present in some allergic adults. Palate. A long soft palate and uvula.
Large tonsils. The main reason for tonsillectomy in adults is snoring. Large tongue. Generally people who are overweight have a large tongue. This crowds the airway and is a major contributor to snoring. There is no straight forward operation to decrease the size of the tongue. It is far safer to lose weight under the guidance of a dietician. A small jaw will place the tongue further backwards in the mouth therefore predisposing to snoring. A short neck crowds the airway. Increased general weight. This thickens the tissues within the throat. The best way to reduce snoring is to reduce weight and avoid all alcohol. Surgery can be helpful but does not cure snoring
as the problem is often multifactorial. Alcohol will still need to be avoided. Weight loss may still be required. Multiple procedure operations are often suggested as the causes are multifactorial. An 8/10 success rate is quoted. This means 2/10 need to consider further radical surgery such as jaw advancement. Snoring surgery involving the throat is extremely painful for at least 8-10 days. Possible late complications include:
- Pharyngeal discomfort
- Increased awareness of post nasal discharge
- Food catching in the throat
- Inability to initiate swallowing
- Taste disturbance
- Nasal reflux of air and food
Sleep apnoea is separate to snoring. It involves a central component whereby the brain tolerates low levels of oxygen, sometimes dangerously low. Snoring surgery does not cure sleep apnoea though it can sometimes become less severe.