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Snoring Symptoms & Causes


Why do I snore?

Snoring is a noise that occurs during sleep when the natural air flow through the nose and throat is obstructed. It is extremely common: About 45% of adults snore occasionally, and 25% of adults are habitual snorers. The problem is more present in males and overweight people, and can get worse as a person ages.

What causes snoring?

Snoring is caused by an obstruction in the airway, which can vary in severity and eventually lead to obstructive sleep disorder (OSA) in serious cases. In most cases, the snoring sound is a result of the tongue and upper throat meeting the soft palate and uvula. When these areas make contact during breathing, it causes a vibration and a snoring sound.

Why does snoring occur?

Snoring is often the result of:

  • Nasal obstruction, occurring from a blocked or stuffy nose, can create an exaggerated breathing that often makes a snoring sound.
  • Poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat, which causes the tongue to drop into the airway and disrupt the normal airflow.
  • Excessive throat tissue, such as enlarged tonsils or extra weight, can cause airway narrowing and inability to breathe normally.
  • Long soft palate or uvula can also cause airway blockage during breathing, resulting in a noising fluttering sound.

How does heavy snoring affect a person?

Socially, a heavy snorer may disrupt a bed partner to the point of causing him/her lack of sleep and fatigue. In serious cases, snoring may also affect others in the same household or sleeping area.

Medically, heavy snoring is a serious condition because it disturbs a persons’ regular sleep pattern. It can also be an indicator of OSA, which can cause long-term health issues.

How is snoring diagnosed?

If you experience heavy snoring, seek medical advice from an ear, nose and throat doctor, such as New York ENT. Doctors will thoroughly examine the nose, throat, mouth, and neck, sometimes using a fiberoptic scope. This examination lets doctors know whether the snoring is being caused by allergies, nasal obstruction, or infection. Additionally, doctors may conduct a home sleep study to rule out OSA.

How do I stop snoring?

Snoring solutions will vary depending on the level of snoring and the area that is causing the snoring. See a trusted ear, nose and throat doctor at New York ENT for treatment options that best suit you and your condition. These options may include:

If you are suffering from snoring, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of sleep disorders. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.

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