Simple Snoring

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Swedish Otolaryngology

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Simple snoring is common. It has been estimated that up to 50% of people snore at one point or another.

Simple snoring occurs when there is partial collapse of the soft tissues of the throat causing vibrations. The collapse is incomplete and the person is able to maintain adequate breathing. As such, simple snoring is generally not considered a health threat.

The sound caused  by snoring most often arises from the palate but can involve other soft tissues of the throat. Intermittent snoring is very common and is generally not bothersome. When it becomes persistently loud and chronic it may lead to severe disruptions in quality of life and social problems. 

Such snoring may cause:

  • Waking episodes due from one’s own snoring
  • Marital discord and relationship problems
  • Social embarrassment
  • Sleep disruption of family members and bed partners

Causes of Snoring

Anything that obstructs the airway can contribute to snoring. These include:

  • Chronic nasal congestion or sinus problems
  • Obesity
  • Bulky palate, large tonsils, adenoids, tongue or other soft tissues of the upper airway.
  • Small upper and lower jaw
  • Neuromuscular disorders

Management Strategies

Management options for snoring is broad and each has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. Also, there is no single treatment that is universally applicable and treatment has to be highly individualized.

The following can be helpful in managing snoring:

  • Side sleeping
  • Ear plugs for the bed partner
  • Weight loss if obese
  • Alcohol avoidance
  • Oral appliances
  • Treatment of nasal allergies