Snoring is very common among adults. During sleep, the airway muscles in the throat relax. As you breathe in, the airway vibrates, making noise. Snoring frequently results from turbulent airflow and narrowing in the nose or throat that creates noise while you breathe during sleep.
You should contact your doctor if your snoring is bothersome, affects your sleep quality, or you suspect that you have sleep apnea. Your doctor will review your medical history and ask you some questions about your sleep patterns. Your doctor will carefully examine the structures in your nose and throat. You may be referred to a sleep study center so that your doctor can learn more about your sleep patterns and identify sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.
Am I at Risk
There are several risk factors for snoring:
_____ Nasal obstructions, such as polyps, congestion, or a deviated septum can cause snoring.
_____ Throat obstructions, including enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or extra tissue can cause snoring.
_____ Obesity increases the risk of snoring, particularly in people with large neck sizes.
_____ Women may experience snoring during their last month of pregnancy.
_____ Consuming alcohol before going to sleep increases the risk of snoring because alcohol causes the throat muscles to relax.
_____ Certain medications, such as sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, and antihistamines, can relax the throat and contribute to snoring.
_____ Sleeping on your back increases the risk of snoring. Sleeping on your side may reduce snoring.
_____ The risk of snoring increases with age. Your throat muscles become more relaxed as you get older.
Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which people stop breathing during their sleep. If your partner or household members have heard you snore, stop breathing, and gasp for air, you may have sleep apnea and should contact your doctor. Other signs of sleep apnea include daytime drowsiness and headaches upon awakening. Untreated sleep apnea can be life threatening and result in stroke, heart attack, or death.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.