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Snoring is not only a social nuisance, but it can also be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a highly prevalent condition affecting millions of people worldwide. Snoring is a symptom but more worrying is the fact that many stop breathing (apnoea) during sleep because of upper airway obstruction. This results in an increased likelihood of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, daytime sleepiness, motor vehicle accidents, and diminished quality of life.

If you snore often, you might need to consult a ENT specialist in Singapore to help identify your snoring causes and effects. Snoring usually happens when your nasal airways are blocked. Other causes may include allergies, alcohol use, bulky throat tissue, obesity, smoking, sleep deprivation, and sleep position.

In the United States, symptomatic obstructive sleep apnoea is estimated to affect 1 in 4 men and 1 in 9 women. Of these, approximately 12 million suffer from moderate or severe OSA. In Australia, a similar percentage of the population has moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnoea, affecting approximately 500,000 people. However, it is estimated that only 10% to 20% of OSA sufferers have been diagnosed and treated.

How is snoring diagnosed?

Growing patient awareness and physician training are rapidly increasing the pool of diagnosed patients, which is estimated to be growing at a rate of 15% per year. In addition, the obesity epidemic and the aging population are both contributing to an increasing patient base which is currently growing at about 1% per year.

Obesity is also a growing problem in Singapore and a local study showed a very high incidence of obstructive sleep apnoea in obese patients. Almost half had moderate and another third had severe OSA. While no prevalence studies have been carried out, it has been estimated that OSA affects about 15% of our population and this percentage is likely to grow.

When you visit a ENT doctor in Singapore, he/she will ask about your medical history and do a physical exam to determine the causes of snoring and effects that you are experiencing. This will include nasendoscopy, passing a small camera through your nose to examine the upper airway. Your ENT doctor in Singapore might also order diagnostic tests such as X-rays, CT scan, or MRI scan to search for abnormalities and problems in your airways. Finally a sleep study is ordered to confirm the clinical diagnosis of OSA and to assess its severity.

How is snoring treated?

Your snoring treatment will depend on what causes you to snore. That’s why it’s best to seek medical help from a ENT specialist in Singapore right away to know the most appropriate snoring treatment for you.

Common treatments for snoring include:

  • Change of lifestyle habits. Your ENT doctor in Singapore might advise you to lose weight, improve eating habits and exercise.
  • Treatment of the nose. A blocked nose is a common cause of OSA and unblocking the nose may help to improve OSA. This may be due to allergies which could be treated.
  • Use of dental mouthpieces. Wearing mouthguards or mouthpieces may be necessary to keep your airways open; reducing snoring and relieving OSA.
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices. The use of these devices may help to prevent airways from collapsing and significantly reduce the risk of hypertension, heart attack, heart failure and strokes. 
  • Surgery. If you do not respond to noninvasive snoring treatment, your ENT doctor in Singapore might resort to surgery. This may involve nasal surgery, throat surgery or tongue base surgery to get rid of the problem that’s causing you to snore.

Amandela ENT Head & Neck Center Mount Elizabeth Novena
Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road #10-45/47
Singapore 329563
T: 6694 1990
F: 6694 1992
Biz Reg No. 201210742D

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