Snoring is the sound you make when your breathing is blocked while you are asleep. The sound is caused by tissues at the top of your airway that strike each other and vibrate. Snoring is common, especially among older people and people who are overweight.

When severe, snoring can cause frequent awakenings at night and daytime sleepiness. It can disrupt your bed partner's sleep. Snoring can also be a sign of a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea. You should see your health care provider if you are often tired during the day, don't feel that you sleep well, or wake up gasping.

To reduce snoring

  • Lose weight if you are overweight. It may help, but thin people can snore, too.
  • Cut down or avoid alcohol and other sedatives at bedtime
  • Don't sleep flat on your back

NIH: National Institute on Aging

Symptoms of Snoring

The following features are indicative of Snoring:
  • noise during sleep
  • excessive daytime sleepiness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • morning headaches
  • sore throat
  • restless sleep
  • gasping or choking at night
  • hypertension
  • chest pain at night
It is possible that Snoring shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Snoring

The following are the most common causes of Snoring:
  • alcohol consumption
  • nasal problems such as chronic nasal congestion or deviated nasal septum
  • sleep deprivation
  • sleeping on the back
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • altered mouth anatomy

Risk Factors for Snoring

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Snoring:
  • male
  • being overweight
  • narrow airway
  • drinking alcohol
  • nasal problems
  • family history of snoring or obstructive sleep apnea

Prevention of Snoring

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Snoring. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • losing weight
  • raising the head of bed
  • treating the nasal congestion or obstruction problems
  • using nasal strips or an external nasal dilator
  • limiting or avoiding alcohol and sedatives
  • quit smoking
  • get enough sleep

Occurrence of Snoring

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Snoring cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Snoring can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Snoring can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Snoring

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Snoring:
  • Imaging: To check the structure of airway for problems
  • Polysomnography: To record brain waves, blood oxygen level, heart rate and breathing rate, sleep stages, and eye and leg movements

Doctor for Diagnosis of Snoring

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Snoring:
  • Otorhinolaryngologist
  • Sleep medicine specialist

Complications of Snoring if untreated

Yes, Snoring causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Snoring is left untreated:
  • daytime sleepiness
  • frequent frustration or anger
  • difficulty concentrating
  • hypertension
  • heart problems
  • stroke
  • aggression
  • learning problems
  • increased risk of motor vehicle accidents

Procedures for Treatment of Snoring

The following procedures are used to treat Snoring:
  • Dental mouthpieces: Help advance the position of jaw, tongue and soft palate to keep air passage open
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): To treat snoring caused by obstructive sleep apnea
  • Palatal implants: Helps reducing snoring
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): To tighten and trim excess tissues from throat
  • Laser surgery: To get snoring under control
  • Radiofrequency tissue ablation (somnoplasty): To help reduce snoring

Self-care for Snoring

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Snoring:
  • Lose excess weight: Helps reducing snoring
  • Use nasal strips or an external nasal dilator: Helps enhancing breathing
  • Limit or avoid alcohol and sedatives: Helps reducing excessive relaxation of muscles
  • Quit smoking: Helps reducing snoring
  • Get enough sleep: Helps reducing snoring

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Snoring

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Snoring:
  • Playing the didgeridoo: Help to train muscles of the upper airway and lessen daytime sleepiness
  • Singing: Help improve muscle control of the soft palate and upper throat

Patient Support for Treatment of Snoring

The following actions may help Snoring patients:
  • Bed partner's support: Help mask snoring noise to get more sleep

Time for Treatment of Snoring

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Snoring to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Snoring.

Related Topics

Sleep Apnea
Sleep Disorders

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