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- Weak muscles in the tongue and throat
- Enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or other obstructions such as a tumors or cysts
- Excessive tissue around the throat due to obesity
- A long, soft palate
- A long uvula
- Deformities of the nose or nasal septum
- Small chin, overbite, or high palate
- Congested nasal passages from a cold, flu, sinus infection, or allergies
- Long pauses in breathing
- Frequent awakening
- Sleepiness and fatigue during the day
- Slowness in mental functioning
When Should I Call My Doctor?
- Physical exam of the throat, neck, mouth, and nose
- A sleep study in a laboratory—to help determine how much the snoring is disrupting your sleep
- If you are overweight, lose weight.
- Exercise to improve muscle tone.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or taking sedatives.
- Establish regular sleeping patterns.
- Sleep on your side rather than on your back.
- Treat causes of nasal congestion, such as allergies or colds.
- Raise the head of the bed up about four inches. Use extra pillows or put something under the mattress.
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)—airway is propped open by a continuous flow of air. The air passes through a mask-like device that you wear during sleep. It is more commonly used for people with obstructive sleep apnea.
- Mouthpieces—to help position the soft palate and tongue for better breathing
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Treat cold and allergy symptoms.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or taking sedatives for several hours before bedtime.
- Sleep on your side.
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery http://www.entnet.org
National Center on Sleep Disorders Research www.nhlbi.nih.gov/sleep
Better Sleep Council Canada http://www.bettersleep.ca
Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca
Snoring. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/snoring.cfm. Accessed May 15, 2013.
Snoring. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/kid/health%5Fproblems/teeth/snoring.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed May 15, 2013.
McDonald JP. A review of surgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome. Surgeon. 2003;1:259-264. Review.
Obstructive sleep apnea. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated April 16, 2013. Accessed May 15, 2013.
Sher AE. Upper airway surgery for obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep Med Rev. 2002;6:195-212. Review.
Yaggi HK, Concato J, et al. Obstructive sleep apnea as a risk factor for stroke and death N Engl J Med. 2005;353:2034-2041.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 05/2013
- Update Date: 05/11/2013