Snoring Specialist NYC
Dagan MD Sleep Center is the foremost medical resource in the New York region for the treatment of sleep apnea and other causes of sleep-disordered breathing. Acclaimed otolaryngologist Tal Dagan, MD, FACS leads a team of multidisciplinary sleep care specialists, including certified pulmonologists, maxillofacial surgeons, and bariatric specialists. Dagan’s highly-qualified team can provide comprehensive care for sleep apnea, ranging from intraoral appliance prescriptions to minimally-invasive in-office surgical techniques. As one of New York’s top sleep treatment centers, Dagan MD is affiliated with many of the city’s top hospital networks and healthcare centers, including New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, Manhattan Eye Ear Throat Hospital (MEETH), and Beth Israel Medical Center.
If you’re suffering from sleep disruption or struggling to get through your workday because of snoring, call the experts at Dagan MD today to schedule a consultation. Use the online form on our website to schedule an appointment for evaluation and learn about the treatments available to help with snoring, sleep apnea, and other sleep-related conditions.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2002 Sleep In America Poll, 37% of American adults have reported snoring at least a few nights a week per year. As of 2020, 62% of people reported feeling sleepy at least three days a week. Additionally, 55% of those polled reported the issue was the quality of the sleep they do get, not a lack of time to sleep.
One cause of this? Snoring. Over 90 million Americans suffer from intermittent snoring, with as many as 37 million reporting nightly or regularly problems with snoring. Though more men than women are diagnosed with snoring-related conditions, snoring can negatively impact the quality of sleep for people of all ages and genders. Snoring isn’t just a nuisance for partners, though. It can also lead to a variety of health conditions both in the bedroom and beyond, including heart disease and impairment to daytime function.
Snoring is caused by the relaxation of throat muscles during sleep, which causes the tongue to fall backward and leads to vibration in the throat. As the throat becomes narrower, vibrations increase, causing louder and more frequent snoring. In some patients, this can lead to total collapse of the throat’s walls during sleep, a condition known as apnea, or total cessation of breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, often manifests as periods of loud snoring followed by periods of silence at least five times during every hour of sleep. During silent periods, breathing often completely or nearly stops, causing the snorer to wake suddenly with a loud startle or gasp.
Though there is no one definitive cause of snoring, a number of known factors increase likelihood of diagnosis of snoring or sleep apnea. Snoring is thought to be more common in men, though that may be due to under-reporting from male patients or female spouses. It’s also more commonly diagnosed in older patients due to the gradual weakening of throat muscles as a result of the aging process. People with anatomical abnormalities of the nose and throat, like enlarged tonsils or deviated septums, may be at more risk for diagnosis, along with those who suffer from seasonal allergies or frequent respiratory infections.
Nearly everyone snores occasionally at some point in their lives, so snoring in itself isn’t cause for medical concern. Because of its connection to sleep apnea, frequent snoring should be evaluated by a doctor, especially if snoring has increased due to factors like obesity or aging. But even if sleep apnea isn’t the cause of snoring, it may affect quality of sleep for partners, leading to grogginess and reduction of daytime functioning. Dagan MD can offer solutions for all kinds of snoring-related conditions, helping both partners enjoy peaceful, restful sleep again.
Symptoms of Snoring
The main symptoms associated with occasional snoring include grogginess and other disruption to daytime functioning, due to disruption to deep sleep cycles caused from the noise produced by snoring. This noise can have a serious effect on both the snorer and their partner and can even have a negative effect on marriage quality and health. Infrequent snoring doesn’t typically lead to health problems, but it can put a strain on relationships and impact a partner’s quality of sleep.
On the other hand, snoring associated with obstructive sleep apnea can lead to a wide variety of health problems, including increased risk for heart and lung disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. The following symptoms might be a sign to see a doctor about OSA:
- Excessive daytime grogginess
- Awakening without feeling rested
- Awakening at night in confusion
- Chest pain at night
- Morning headaches or sore throats
- Changes in daily levels of memory or concentration
- Observed pauses in sleep breathing patterns
- Observed vibrating or rattling sound during sleep
- Recent weight gain
- Recent blood pressure increase
In children, signs of sleep apnea can also include behavioral issues or poor performance at school due to sleep disruption. Children with enlarged tonsils or adenoids are at additional risk for developing sleep apnea. In patients of all ages, frequent frustration or increased anger or sadness might be a sign of snoring-related problems due to irritation caused by sleep disruption.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to long-term health complications like high blood pressure. It can also cause the heart to increase in size over time, leading to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious health conditions. Even beyond those health risks, continual poor sleep can interfere with quality of life in substantial ways, including increased risk of car wrecks or on-the-job accidents.
Causes of Snoring
Sleep apnea is only one cause of snoring. Snoring can be caused by many factors connected to your biology, habits, and other health conditions, including:
- Mouth anatomy: People with certain nose, mouth, and throat conditions may be more susceptible to snoring, including those with low, thick soft palates or elongated uvulas. People with conditions like enlarged tonsils or adenoids, deviated nasal septums, and nasal polyps may also be at greater risk for developing snoring-related conditions because of their anatomy.
- Nasal problems: Chronic nasal congestion caused by factors like seasonal allergies or frequent respiratory infections may lead to problems with snoring.
- Sleep deprivation: Chronic sleep deprivation related to factors like work schedule or mental health can lead to further throat relaxation in patients already suffering from snoring problems.
- Sleep position: Sleeping on the back can aggravate problems with snoring due to the effects of gravity on the throat. As the throat narrows, snoring can become worse as the airway becomes smaller.
- Alcohol or drug consumption: Snoring can be affected by alcohol consumption habits. Since alcohol relaxes throat muscles, drinking before bedtime can weaken the body’s natural defenses against the obstruction of the airway. Muscle relaxers and other medications can also produce similar effects.
A number of known risk factors can also increase likelihood of snoring, including:
- Being male
- Being overweight
- Having a naturally narrow airway
- Having a family history of snoring or obstructive sleep apnea
It’s unknown if some of these risk factors have a definitive correlation, though, due to underreporting of snoring to doctors. Patients who experience snoring-related sleep disruption should always check with their doctor to rule out the possibility of sleep apnea.
Snoring Treatment in NYC
Before beginning treatment, doctors will typically ask questions to both the snorer and their partner about snoring habits. A physical exam might be performed to look for medical conditions blocking airways, such as a deviated septum or enlarged adenoids. A doctor may ask for a patient’s medical history, including family hereditary factors, and may perform tests such as:
- MRI scans
- CT scans
- At-home sleep monitoring
- Lab sleep studies, also known as polysomnography
After diagnosis with a snoring-related condition, a doctor will typically recommend lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or cutting back on alcohol before bed. Doctors may also recommend altering sleep positions, including switching to sleeping on the side instead of the back. If allergies or respiratory infections are determined to be the primary cause of snoring, prescription medication to treat the sinus conditions is generally the first line of treatment.
If symptoms of snoring don’t improve from changing habits, there are a variety of invasive and non-invasive procedures that can treat conditions like sleep apnea. Intraoral appliances, which are small plastic devices worn by the snorer during sleep, can be prescribed to keep airways open during sleep by pressing on the jaw or tongue. Nasal dilators may also be prescribed, which keep the nasal passageways open for clearer breathing during the night.
There are several kinds of surgical procedures that can help with severe cases of snoring. Surgery to remove or reduce tissue in the throat, stiffen the soft palate, or alter the structure of airways can be performed as inpatient or outpatient surgery, depending on how extensive reconstruction needs to be. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, which blow air into the back of the throat and prevent throat collapse during sleep, may also be prescribed to treat sleep apnea.
Snoring Doctor in New York
Dagan MD is renowned for its variety of snoring and sleep apnea treatment options, which range from intraoral appliance prescription to cutting-edge minimally-invasive outpatient surgical techniques. Thousands of New York-area snorers have reported increased sleep quality and better quality of life after receiving assistance from the comprehensive team of sleep experts at Dagan MD. Partners of snorers who receive treatment report better sleep quality and overall improvement to married life.
If you or your partner are suffering from health problems or reduced quality of life due to snoring, contact the dedicated professionals at Dagan MD today using our online form. If you’re in the tri-state area, call us at 212.585.3242 to schedule a consultation.