What Causes Snoring?

Since 2003, Dr. John Krehlik has served patients in Alaska through his private practice, where he accepts clients by appointment every day of the week. Drawing on over three decades of experience in the medical field, Dr. John Krehlik specializes in treatment of sleep apnea and snoring.

Sounds come from vibrations causing air particles to become sound waves. During sleep, the airways can become restricted and cause vibrations that result in what we know as snoring. While snoring can be the result of a cold or other virus, medications, and alcohol consumption, a more serious cause is obstructive sleep apnea.

Snoring that results from sleep apnea means the airways have become physically restricted. Often the soft palate blocks the back of the throat because the back of the tongue has collapsed against it. If this blockage causes a person to stop breathing for at least 10 seconds, he or she has sleep apnea. Those who suspect they may suffer from sleep apnea should see a sleep specialist, as sleep apnea can affect daily life and even be life-threatening.

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Effects of Snoring

A board-certified sleep physician, Dr. John Krehlik has treated numerous patients who present with snoring. Dr. John Krehlik uses a comprehensive evaluation procedure to determine the root cause of the symptom and work toward eliminating its effects.

An inconvenient and often dangerous issue, snoring affects up to 45 percent of adults in the United States. Although some perceive it as a simple annoyance, it signals an obstruction to the airway during sleep. The sound that bedmates and roommates hear is the vibrating of the tongue and upper throat against the soft palate and uvula as the airway closes and opens again. The cause of this collapse can range from a stuffed nose to a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea causes the upper airway to narrow and collapse multiple times during sleep. When the airway closes entirely, the patient wakes abruptly and begins to breathe again. Though he or she does not notice the episode, it can happen up to 300 times per night and lead to excessive daytime sleepiness. Sleep testing can determine whether a snoring patient suffers from obstructive sleep apnea or from one of snoring’s more structurally based causes, such as a deviated septum or excess soft tissue at the neck and throat.

Common Causes of Snoring

Since 2009, Dr. John Krehlik has served the Anchorage, Alaska community as a board-certified physician specializing in various sleep issues and disorders. Patients of Dr. John Krehlik may receive a home sleep test in order to diagnose sleep apnea or other causes of snoring.

Snoring occurs when an individual’s airway has, for some reason, relaxed, narrowed, or even collapsed. Once the airway has narrowed, a person’s breathing will become louder and more forceful as it travels through the compressed air passage. This can be caused by external factors or ongoing issues inside the body. For example, consumption of alcohol, particularly later in the evening, can cause the throat muscles to become overly relaxed and allow for airway obstructions that would normally be repelled.

Ongoing or temporary nasal congestion can also lead to a night—or many nights—of snoring. A deviated nasal septum is especially likely to bring about snoring. However, the causes behind snoring are not always so banal. Sleep apnea, for example, is a potentially serious health issue in which a person’s airway tissue can partially or completely block the air path. In extreme cases, sleep apnea can prevent a person from breathing altogether.

The Benefits of Home Sleep Testing

The only board-certified sleep physician living in Southeast Alaska, Dr. John Krehlik provides high-quality sleep medicine care to patients out of his own sleep medicine practice in Anchorage. Dedicated to treating and diagnosing sleep apnea and snoring quickly, Dr. John Krehlik works closely with all health providers throughout the state to evaluate snoring symptoms through the use of home sleep testing.

Home sleep testing allows for several benefits while still providing accurate information to physicians trying to diagnose snoring and sleepiness symptoms. One benefit is comfort. Patients undergoing normal sleep testing must often sleep in a new place, and sleeping in a new bed while they are being observed makes it difficult for some patients to feel comfortable. Home sleep testing allows patients to sleep in the privacy of their own home, ensuring they do not miss out on a good night’s sleep. It also does not require patients to be hooked up to as many sensors, requiring only a small device wrapped around the chest or a sensor on the finger or nose.

Since the tests can be completed at home, patients do not have to drive far or miss work. The devices are often delivered to a patient’s doorstep and offer 24/7 technical support lines should any problems arise. Patients then simply mail back the device and wait to hear the results from their physician. Home sleep testing also decreases cost by allowing patients to save gas and avoid co-payment at the doctor’s office. Many insurance companies also pay for home sleep testing in full, whereas in-lab testing is not always covered entirely.

For more information click www.AlaskaSleepDoctor.com.

What Causes Snoring?

A graduate of the University of Chicago, where he received his doctor of medicine, Dr. John Krehlik was the first board-certified sleep physician in Juneau, Alaska. With 30 years of experience in sleep medicine, he pioneered home testing for sleep apnea in the state. In addition to his work with sleep apnea, Dr. John Krehlik is an expert in other sleep disturbances like snoring.

A common problem affecting almost 100 million adults nationwide, snoring can occur for a number of reasons and with varying frequency. The most common snoring causes are excess body weight, which squeezes the inner diameter of the throat, and aging, which loosens the throat muscles. Genetic reasons, such as a softer palate or a long uvula, can also cause snoring.

Aside from physical issues, sleeping position can increase snoring issues. When you sleep on your back, gravity can pull at the soft tissue of your mouth and throat, impacting your airflow. By sleeping on your side, the gravity shifts and becomes less of an issue for both chronic and infrequent snorers.

With strong correlation, more than half of all loud snorers have obstructive sleep apnea. Before treating snoring problems, consult your doctor.

Home sleep testing is done in the comfort of your own home. Dr. Krehlik works closely with doctors and other healthcare providers to conveniently evaluate snoring symptoms throughout Alaska. For more information, go to http://www.AlaskaSleepDoctor.com.