Snoring & Sleep Apnea in Gurnee, IL and Libertyville, IL

Snoring & Sleep Apnea in Gurnee, IL and Libertyville, IL

Insight into sleeping disorders and sleep apnea

Forty-five percent of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 25 percent are habitual snorers. Problem snoring is more frequent in males and overweight people and usually worsens with age. Snoring may be an indication of obstructed breathing and should not be taken lightly. An otolaryngologistm in Gurnee, IL and Libertyville, IL can help you to determine where the anatomic source of your snoring may be, and offer solutions for this noisy and often embarrassing behavior.

What causes snoring?

The noisy sounds of snoring occur when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This area is the collapsible part of the airway where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula. Snoring occurs when these structures strike each other and vibrate during breathing.

In children, snoring may be a sign of problems with the tonsils and adenoids. A chronically snoring child should be examined by an otolaryngologist at Lake County ENT/Head & Neck Specialists, who may recommend a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy to return the child to full health.

People who snore may suffer from:

Why is snoring serious?

Socially: Snoring can make the snorer an object of ridicule and can cause the bed partner to experience sleepless nights and fatigue.

Medically: It disturbs sleeping patterns and deprives the snorer of adequate rest. It may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can lead to serious, long-term health problems.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Snoring may be a sign of a more serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is characterized by multiple episodes of breathing pauses greater than 10 seconds at a time, due to upper airway narrowing or collapse. This results in lower amounts of oxygen in the blood, which causes the heart to work harder. It also causes disruption of the natural sleep cycle, which makes people feel poorly rested despite adequate time in bed. Apnea patients may experience 30 to 300 such events per night.

The immediate effect of sleep apnea is that the snorer must sleep lightly and keep the throat muscles tense in order to keep airflow to the lungs. Because the snorer does not get a good rest, he or she may be sleepy during the day, which impairs job performance and makes him or her a hazardous driver or equipment operator. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of developing heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and many other medical problems.

How is heavy snoring evaluated?

Heavy snorers should seek medical advice to ensure that sleep apnea is not a problem. Heavy snorers include people who snore constantly in any position or who negatively impact a bed partner’s sleep. An otolaryngologist in Gurnee, IL and Libertyville, IL will provide a thorough examination of the nose, mouth, throat, palate, and neck, often using a fiberoptic scope. An examination can reveal if the snoring is caused by nasal allergy, infection, nasal obstruction, or enlargement of tonsils and adenoids. A sleep study in a laboratory or at home may be necessary to determine if snoring is due to OSA.

All snorers with any of the following symptoms should be evaluated for possible obstructive sleep apnea:

What treatments are available?

Treatment depends on the diagnosis and level(s) of upper airway narrowing. In some cases, more than one area may be involved.

Snoring or OSA may respond to various treatments offered by many otolaryngologists/head and neck surgeons:

Do you recommend the use of over-the-counter devices?

There is no specific device recommended. More than 300 devices are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as cures for snoring. Different methods include products that help a person avoid sleeping on their back, since snoring is often worse in that position. Some devices open nasal air passages; others have been designed to condition a person not to snore by producing unpleasant stimuli when snoring occurs. While a person may find a product that works for him or her, underlying poor sleep quality may remain.

Self-help for the light snorer

Adults who suffer from mild or occasional snoring should try the following self-help remedies:

Lake County ENT/Head and Neck Specialists
222 S. Greenleaf St., Suite 102 Gurnee IL 60031
1-847-662-4442 1-847-662-4446
1880 West Winchester Rd., Suite 103 Libertyville IL 60048
1-847-367-5770 1-847-662-4446 USD Cash, Check, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Most Dental Insurance Plans, CareCredit, Lending Club Patient Solutions, Prosper Healthcare Lending
Narendra M. Desai Doctor
Benjamin C. Johnson Doctor
Erik G. Nelson Doctor
Gregory J. Kruper Doctor
Leslie Block Doctor