Snoring is common in adults and is not necessarily a sign of an underlying disorder.
Sometimes, however, snoring can be a sign of a sleep disorder called
A doctor (or a sleep specialist) can tell if you have sleep apnea by doing a sleep study either at home or in a hospital setting.
Snoring is an important social problem. Persons who share a bed with a someone who snores can develop sleep difficulties.
In most people, the reason for snoring is not known. Some potential causes (other than sleep apnea) include:
- Being overweight, which leads to excessive neck tissue that puts pressure on the airways
- Last month of pregnancy
Nasal congestionfrom colds or allergies, especially if it lasts a long time
- Swelling of the muscular part of the roof of the mouth (soft palate) or uvula, the piece of tissue that hangs down in the back of the mouth
Swollen adenoidsand tonsils that block the airways
- Use of sleeping pills, antihistamines, or alcohol at bedtime
- Prominence of the area at the base of the tongue
- Large tongue size compared to the mouth
- Abnormalities in the bones of the face
Review Date: 08/03/2010
Reviewed By: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington.