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How Your Soft Palate Affects Snoring

Snoring affects both you and anyone who shares a bedroom with you. In some cases, it affects your health if it's bad enough. One cause of snoring is a problem in the soft palate area. This is the area in the back of the mouth near the entrance of the throat. Fortunately, your ears, nose, and throat doctor can help reduce snoring due to the soft palate. Here is more information about snoring and different soft palate surgeries to reduce it.

What Is Snoring?

Snoring is the name for loud sounds coming from the mouth while people sleep. Tissue obstructions are often the cause of snoring. Most people snore at some time in their life. Many people snore habitually.

Occasional snoring is usually not a health issue. But chronic snoring can potentially interfere with your relationship with your bedmate.

Snoring is different from sleep apnea. With sleep apnea, the entire airway becomes blocked due to structural abnormalities in the throat. Snoring usually doesn't block the entire airway. Sleep apnea can be life-threatening. It often contributes to other health problems like high blood pressure or heart problems.

Who Tends to Snore?

Anyone of any gender can snore. However, snoring tends to be more typical in biological males and the obese. You may also be more prone to snoring if you have sinus issues like sinus polyps or allergies. Snoring is also more common in older people and people with a family history of the problem.

How Does the Soft Palate Affect Snoring?

Causes for snoring include weakness in the soft palate or enlargement of other tissues in the area. Some people have a very short or long soft palate that is soft near the throat. This tissue vibrates as you breathe while you sleep. The same problem happens if you have a large uvula (the piece of tissue that hangs from the back of your throat).

What Surgeries Help with Snoring?

If your soft palate is the problem, your doctor may suggest surgeries to reshape it or reduce its vibration. Some of the surgeries involve injections, radiofrequency ablation, and lasers. Most involve removing or shrinking the tissue and opening up the airway. The surgeon can do these procedures under local anesthesia. You can usually go home the same or the next day with minimal side effects.

You and your partner don't have to live with snoring. Your ears, nose, and throat doctor can help find a solution to reduce or eliminate the problem. You may benefit from snoring surgery if other options fail. If your snoring causes problems, make an appointment to see your doctor for an examination.