Snoring is a loud, hoarse, harsh breathing sound that occurs during sleep. Snoring is common in adults. Occasional snoring is nothing to worry about. However, loud, frequent snoring can make it hard for both you and your bed partner to get enough sleep.
When you sleep, the muscles in your throat relax and your tongue slips back in your mouth. Snoring occurs when something blocks air from flowing freely through your mouth and nose. When you breathe, the walls of your throat vibrate, causing the sound of snoring.
There are several factors that can lead to snoring, including
Sometimes snoring can be a sign of a sleep disorder called sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can make it especially hard for your bed partner to get a good night's sleep.
To help reduce snoring:
If your doctor has given you a breathing device, use it on a regular basis. Follow your doctor's advice for treating allergy symptoms.
Talk to your doctor if you:
You should also talk with your doctor if you have episodes of no breathing (apnea) during the night. Your partner can tell you if you are snoring loudly or making choking and gasping sounds.
Depending on your symptoms and the cause of your snoring, your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist.
Be sure to call your child's pediatrician if your child snores often. This may be a sign of sleep apnea, which can cause health problems in children.
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Updated by: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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