Having a deviated septum, depending on the severity, can enable a number of adverse conditions in your body. Since the deviation usually occupies important space inside your nose where air should flow freely, you might experience difficulties in breathing through your nose.
When sleeping, this reduced space coupled with the effect of gravity over your body can tighten the airways, leading to the production of sounds as the air is funneled inside multiple channels.
This is a fancy way of saying that you'll start snoring!
There are a number of reasons why we snore. Some of them can be traced to having a deviated septum, but we'll outline them here as it can be attributed to something else as well:
If none or few of these conditions apply to you, then your deviated septum might be responsible for your snoring. Read on to understand how it happens.
Can a deviated septum cause snoring?
When we sleep, the area at the back of the throat relaxes, to the point of even closing off temporarily. When the air tries to break through, it will make the tissues vibrate, producing the snoring sound. Other places where this narrowing can happen apart from the throat are the mouth or your nose.
The air should enter your nose through your nostrils, pass through to the turbinates (where the air is heated and moisturized to help your lungs later), then go through the back of your throat for the rest of the journey. If your septum is crooked, then it could be contributing to this difficulty in airflow.
When the septum isn't straight, the air is already having trouble passing freely inside your nostrils, it is making tissue vibrate (sometimes audibly) which in turn increases the effort required to breathe through the nose. This can lead to your body deciding that breathing through the mouth is easier and that kind of breathing usually has a greater chance of causing snoring.
We've just described how a deviated septum can cause snoring on its own. However, please note that having this condition increases the effects of sinusitis, allergies, swollen tissue, and nasal blockage, all of which can lead to increasing the frequency and the severity of snoring.
Will fixing a deviated septum stop snoring?
Fixing a deviated septum through surgery is a sure way to increase the space in your airways and general airflow inside them. Because of this, it is very likely that this kind of procedure will make you stop snoring and increase your overall sleep quality (and that of the person that sleeps with you as well!).
What are some home remedies for snoring caused by a deviated septum?
There are some strategies you can adopt to increase airflow and reduce your snoring at night. First, if you're suffering from allergies, sinusitis, the flu or a cold, you'll need to take medication to tackle these symptoms, such as decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal or corticosteroid spray.
Then, think about how you lie in bed. Do you usually sleep on your back? If you do, this causes the collapse of soft tissue towards the back of your throat, further reducing the space the air has to move in and out freely. Lying on your sides or even on your stomach can be a great improvement.
To control the position of your body at night, you can, for example, sew a tennis ball to the back of a shirt and wear it as you sleep. This way, every time your body tries to lie on your back, it will feel the tennis ball, prompting it to go back to the side or prone position.
If you have a reclining bed, tuning it so you're not lying completely parallel to the ground is an option if you can't sleep in any other position than on your back.
What do I do if my snoring doesn't improve?
If the simple steps described above didn't improve your breathing and didn't make your snoring go away, then you should consider consulting a doctor and ask for a sleep study to be conducted. Some of these can be done at home, though the in-depth ones involve staying overnight at a sleep center to perform polysomnography.
You will be connected to many sensors and you'll be observed overnight, as your brain waves, heart rate, blood oxygen level, breathing rate, eye and leg movements, and sleep stages are being analyzed to see how your sleep state is affecting your body. The resulting report should allow your doctor to pin down the reasons for your snoring and poor sleep quality.
Depending on your situation, you might be prescribed:
We hope that the minor solutions we gave you earlier were enough to help you stop snoring. If not and you need to seek medical help, don't be afraid as the examinations and surgical procedures are not complex, and carrying them out will represent a great improvement in your sleep quality. Life can be very tiring: you should get the best sleep possible to enjoy it fully!
References and further reading: