Snoring is often the stuff of which cartoons are made.
How many times have you seen an artist’s clever vision of snoring, including:
- Window shades flapping in and out
- A bedroom filled with giant Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z’S
- A care-worn wife dashing screaming from the room, her hands clamped over her ears
But there’s nothing funny about snoring — it’s actually some very loud bad health in progress.
We note that because, in our practice, about half the patients coming in for cosmetic plastic surgery have breathing problems
Causes of snoring can be many, but you must be wondering what has snoring to do with the nose job procedure?
Simple answer: many snoring cases are abated or cured in connection with rhinoplasty.
Deeper answer: Before rhinoplasty, the savvy nasal surgeon will examine the nose’s insides for blockages if the patient (or patient’s wife!) reports habitual snoring. The exam is a thorough look-see by a surgeon trained and experienced in head and neck surgery.
The surgeon best qualified to perform that inside the nose exam is also usually board-certified in otolargyngology.
(Read our post about plastic surgery’s board certifications.)
That surgeon thoroughly checks the inside of the nose because some conditions could exist which require a separate surgery before the patient can proceed on to the cosmetic rhinoplasty.
Internal nose passages include:
- The septum – that thin wall of cartilage separating the nostrils. A septum could be bent, twisted or blocked
- The turbinates, larger structures farther up in the nose, could require reduction because they sometimes swell
- Untreated broken noses that healed on their own
Turbinates humidify, filter and warm air before it reaches the lungs. If you snore, you become a mouth breather and get second choice air. Lungs are healthier with nose breathing.
Another answer to snoring may also be found in the sinuses, throat or neck when polyps or allergies are discovered.
In some cases, the patient’s uvula, that dangling structure in the very back of the throat, hangs too far down into the throat and flaps back and forth, causing the sleep robbing Z-z-z-z-zs.
An enlarged adenoid can be the bugbear, especially in children.
But, of those many adult patients who come in with snoring problems, most are totally cured or significantly reduced.
Bottom line: healthy breathing is quiet breathing!