Snoring is a common occurrence during sleep, but it’s not necessarily a harmless one. When snoring is linked to sleep apnea, it can increase the risk of developing heart disease and other serious health issues. At Tustin Ear, Nose & Throat, Sinus and Allergy Center, Dr. Charles Oh provides treatment for patients in Tustin and Los Alamitos, California who have snoring problems or sleep apnea.

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What Causes Snoring?

Snoring happens when air causes throat tissue to vibrate due to obstruction. This obstruction occurs when muscles in the throat and tongue relax too much and block the airway. There are several possible causes of snoring, including having nasal congestion, being overweight, and having a low palate. Sleep apnea is another cause of snoring. Dr. Oh can help those who have chronic snoring determine what’s causing it.

How Can Patients Reduce Snoring?

Patients who snore can take several steps to reduce it. These include losing excess weight, relieving nasal congestion, and wearing nasal strips to open the nasal passage more. Other steps that might help include sleeping on one side instead of on the back and propping up the head of the bed by a few inches, which can help the airway stay open during sleep. Patients can also reduce snoring by limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, and getting plenty of sleep each night. Dr. Oh can also provide patients with additional advice on reducing snoring.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when breathing stops and starts again frequently during sleep. When it’s left untreated, this sleep disorder can cause complications, such as a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It can also cause patients to feel fatigued during the day and lead to complications with surgical procedures and medications. Sleep apnea can also affect the patient’s partner by causing sleep deprivation. Signs of sleep apnea include loud snoring, waking up with a sore throat, waking up with a headache, and feeling sleepy during the day.

How Does Dr. Oh Treat Sleep Apnea?

Dr. Oh comes up with treatment options for sleep apnea depending on how severe it is. Treatment for mild cases involves lifestyle changes, including maintaining a healthy weight, treating nasal congestion, and giving up smoking.

Treatments for more serious cases include using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device to keep the airway open during sleep or wearing oral appliances that help the throat stay open. In some cases, Dr. Oh recommends surgery to treat sleep apnea. Surgical procedures include removing tissue in the throat and repositioning the jaw.

For more information on snoring and sleep apnea treatments, please contact Tustin Ear, Nose & Throat, Sinus and Allergy Center to schedule an appointment with Dr. Oh.