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I always felt snoring was more of an embarrassment than a real problem, and that it was a natural part of aging.”

-A former snorer and sleep apnea patient

Normal breathing is something we almost never think about until we have a problem with it. Normal nighttime breathing is quiet, even and steady and preferably nasal.

Snoring can be caused by a number of factors and signals a breathing problem during sleep. Snoring occurs when the soft palate and other tissues at the back of your throat, including your tongue, relax into your airway during sleep. When your airway narrows, the air passing through it is forced to move faster and it causes the tissue around it to vibrate, causing the rattling or snoring sound. 

In OSA, the soft tissue at the back of the throat completely collapse into the airway during sleep. When this happens, air can no longer reach the lungs and our brain signals the body to wake up to restart breathing. Sometimes, in addition to the snoring noise, the sleep apnea patient also experiences a snort as breathing restarts. With breathing under control, the sufferer falls asleep again, only to have the cycle repeat itself.

  • Sleep on your side.
  • Check for allergies or other causes ofnasal congestion. 
  • Lose weight- it helps snoring too !
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Avoid smoking and other things that irritate the throat or nose. 
  • Avoid becoming overly tired before sleep.

Some medications cause increased relaxation in the throat and can worsen snoring. 

Snoring is more likely to affect people with smaller jaws or receding chins because of physically smaller airways.

Normal Breathing Graphic
Normal breathing permits smooth, unobstructed flow of breath through the airway
Snoring impaired breathing
A snoring problem is caused when the tongue and soft tissue relax into the airway restricting airflow.
In obstructive sleep apnea the tongue and soft tissue collapse into the airway, blocking breathing.  Even mild sleep apnea will cause snoring; severe apnea has more harmful effects.
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How to Stop Snoring

The Snoring Problem

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Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring may indicate Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA. OSA can impair your sleep, and snoring impairs someone else's- which you've already been told if you snore and don't sleep alone.

Sleep apnea has only recently been recognized as a serious medical issue- and snoring is one of the key indicators of sleep apnea.

An initial diagnosis of sleep apnea or snoring issues can be made through a home sleep monitoring test. If an initial diagnosis is made, it should be confirmed through a sleep physician. br />
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