It is estimated that 20% of the population will snore. Snoring is a symptom of narrow or closed airways and can be caused by a variety of reasons, including:
- Large tonsils or adenoids
- Large or soft palate
- Big tongue
- Blocking the nasal cavity due to allergies or other conditions (such as a deviated nasal septum)
Some people snore only when lying on their backs. Other people snore regardless of their sleeping position. Snoring may be worse after drinking alcohol or taking sedatives.
Obstructive sleep apnea
Snoring can be a symptom of a severe sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea , which occurs when your breathing passages are partially or completely blocked. This may cause your oxygen levels to drop, which can create health risks such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
Obstructive sleep apnea prevents you from getting a deep, restful sleep and makes you feel tired during the day.
If someone notices that you sometimes stop breathing while snoring, you should see a sleep specialist to diagnose and treat sleep apnea.
What can you do with snoring?
There are many ways to help relieve snoring:
- Losing weight If you are overweight, losing weight may help.
- Surgery There are many surgical procedures that can be used to treat snoring and sleep apnea. These procedures include repositioning or removing tissue from the nose, throat, and jaw. UCSF experts have expertise in selecting specific procedures to solve each patient's condition.
- Dental equipment A dentist who specializes in snoring dental equipment can install a dental guard that keeps your chin forward or pulls out your tongue to make more room in your airway.
- Posture training If you only snore when lying on your back, you can train yourself to sleep on your side only.