Snoring after rhinoplasty is expected due to swelling and congestion. It generally resolves within a few weeks but can last up to a few months. To reduce snoring, doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or suggest lifestyle changes such as sleeping on your side or avoiding alcohol.
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tips that may help reduce snoring after rhinoplasty surgery
Here are some tips that may help reduce snoring after rhinoplasty surgery:
- Sleep on your side instead of your back. Sleeping on your back allows the tongue and soft tissues in the throat to collapse backward and obstruct breathing. Sleeping on your side helps keep your airways more open.
- Use nasal strips or nasal dilators. These devices help open the nasal passages to improve airflow.
- Use a humidifier. Dry air can irritate the nasal passages and cause swelling. A humidifier adds moisture to the air and can help reduce nasal congestion.
- Try nasal saline rinses. Saline rinses can help clear mucus and soothe nasal passages.
- Avoid alcohol and sedatives before bed. These can relax throat muscles and make snoring worse.
- Lose weight if overweight. Extra tissue in the throat can vibrate and cause snoring. Losing weight removes that excess tissue.
- Adjust your sleeping position. Use pillows to keep your head elevated and aligned with your body. This prevents the tongue from falling back.
- Get enough sleep. Fatigue causes throat muscles to relax more, increasing snoring.
- See your surgeon if snoring persists. They may recommend adjustments or medications to reduce swelling and open nasal passages.
If the snoring persists following rhinoplasty, what can be done?
The nostrils and nasal passages tend to be swollen after surgery. As the swelling subsides over the next several weeks, snoring should improve. Let your surgeon know if significant snoring persists beyond the initial healing period.
Here are some things to try if snoring persists even after the swelling from rhinoplasty has resolved:
- Get evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea. Rhinoplasty can sometimes uncover or worsen existing OSA in some people. A sleep study can diagnose OSA. Treatment such as CPAP may be needed.
- Consider revision rhinoplasty. In some cases, residual anatomic issues from the original surgery, like nasal valve collapse, can cause snoring. Revision surgery may be able to address this.
- Try an oral appliance. These customized mouthpieces shift the lower jaw to open the airway and reduce snoring. They are an option for mild to moderate sleep apnea too.
- Use nasal dilator strips. The adhesive bands lift nasal passages open and can reduce vibration and snoring.
- Try radiofrequency ablation procedures. RF energy tightens and stiffens the soft palate to prevent vibration and snoring. Several in-office sessions may be needed.
- Consider palatal implants. These inserts stiffen the soft palate, much like the RF ablation technique. It is done under local anesthesia.
- Explore laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP). LAUP reshapes and shortens the uvula and soft palate with small laser incisions to prevent snoring vibrations.
- Discuss other surgeries. Procedures like palatoplasty or maxillomandibular advancement may be options if other treatments fail.
Discuss persistent snoring with your ENT surgeon to identify structural causes and explore these treatment options. Several effective remedies are available if snoring continues after rhinoplasty.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about snoring after rhinoplasty:
How long does snoring usually last after rhinoplasty surgery?
Snoring is common in the first 1-2 weeks after surgery as swelling narrows the nasal passages. It usually resolves within 2-4 weeks as the swelling subsides. Persistent snoring beyond 6 weeks is less common.
What causes snoring after rhinoplasty?
The leading cause is nasal swelling which narrows airways. Pain medications, congestion, dressings, and sleeping on the back can also contribute to snoring initially.
Is snoring a sign something is wrong with the rhinoplasty?
Not necessarily. Short-term snoring is expected due to swelling and healing. It does not mean the surgery was done improperly. But persistent long-term snoring should be evaluated.
When should I worry about snoring after rhinoplasty?
Brief snoring early on is regular. But if loud frequent snoring lasts over 4 weeks, talk to your surgeon to rule out structural issues. Signs of sleep apnea, like gasping awake, also warrant medical evaluation.
Can I do anything to reduce post-op snoring?
Yes. Sleep on your side, use humidification, use nasal saline, avoid alcohol before bed, and use nasal strips or sprays if your surgeon approves. Don’t sleep on your back.
Will a revision rhinoplasty help stop snoring?
It may be if the examination shows an anatomical cause like nasal valve narrowing. But revision surgery may not always resolve snoring. Try other remedies first before considering revision.
What if I have sleep apnea – will rhinoplasty make it worse?
For some patients, yes. Severe sleep apnea, nasal obstruction, and snoring should be optimized before considering rhinoplasty. Consult an ENT doctor to assess risks.