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Health Condition

Snoring

About This Condition

Snoring is caused by the movement of air across the soft tissues in the mouth or throat, such as the uvula, soft palate, and sometimes the vocal cords.

Any restriction of airflow, as occurs with nasal congestion, asthma, or polyps, increases the likelihood of snoring. Simple snoring is usually without health consequences, but inadequate sleep quality and quantity, nighttime dips in the body’s oxygen levels,1 and headaches2 sometimes accompany snoring. In addition, an association between snoring and heart disease has been established.3,4 When the resistance to airflow in the airways becomes so great as to cause significant interruptions in breathing, it is known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea represents a more serious health concern than simple snoring;5 therefore, chronic snoring, which can be associated with sleep apnea, should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

Symptoms

People with snoring may make a rough, rattling, noisy sound while breathing in during sleep.

Other Therapies

Healthcare practitioners may recommend avoidance of alcoholic beverages, sleeping pills, antihistamines, and overeating before bedtime. Sleeping on one side, rather than on the back, or raising the head of the bed may provide benefit. Weight loss is helpful, especially for people who are obese. Allergies and nasal infections are treated when detected. Surgery may be recommended to correct structural problems with the airway, such as enlarged tonsils and adenoids or a deviated nasal septum.

References

1. Stradling JR, Crosby JH. Predictors and prevalence of obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring in 1001 middle aged men. Thorax 1991;46:85-90.

2. Jennum P, Hein HO, Suadicani P, Gyntelberg F. Headache and cognitive dysfunctions in snorers. A cross-sectional study of 3323 men aged 54 to 74 years: the Copenhagen Male Study. Arch Neurol 1994;51:937-42.

3. Nieto FJ, Young TB, Lind BK, et al. Association of sleep-disordered breathing, sleep apnea, and hypertension in a large community-based study. Sleep Heart Health Study. JAMA 2000;283:1829-36.

4. Bixler EO, Vgontzas AN, Lin HM, et al. Association of hypertension and sleep-disordered breathing. Arch Intern Med 2000;160:2289-95.

5. Skomro RP, Kryger MH. Clinical presentations of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Prog Cardiovasc Dis 1999;41:331-40.

6. Coste A. ENT diseases associated with allergic rhinitis: a review of the literature. Ann Otolaryngol Chir Cervicofac 2000;117:168-73 [in French; review].

7. Young T, Finn L, Kim H. Nasal obstruction as a risk factor for sleep-disordered breathing. The University of Wisconsin Sleep and Respiratory Research Group. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1997;99:S757-62.

8. Janson C, De Backer W, Gislason T, et al. Increased prevalence of sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness in subjects with bronchial asthma: a population study of young adults in three European countries. Eur Respir J 1996;9:2132-8.

9. Ballard RD. Sleep, respiratory physiology, and nocturnal asthma. Chronobiol Int 1999;16:565-80 [review].

10. Guilleminault C, Quera-Salva MA, Powell N, et al. Nocturnal asthma: snoring, small pharynx and nasal CPAP. Eur Respir J 1988;1:902-7.

11. Chan CS, Woolcock AJ, Sullivan CE. Nocturnal asthma: role of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Am Rev Respir Dis 1988;137:1502-4.

12. McColley SA, Carroll JL, Curtis S, et al. High prevalence of allergic sensitization in children with habitual snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Chest 1997;111:170-3.

13. Green RJ, Luyt DK. Clinical presentation of chronic non-infectious rhinitis in children. S Afr Med J 1997;87:987-91.

14. De Luca L. The food bronchial stimulation test (FBST) is a new method for the diagnosis of food allergens. Study of 86 children with food allergy with respiratory manifestations. Pediatr Med Chir 1988;10:103-10 [in Italian].

15. Ketterer MW, Brymer J, Rhoads K, et al. Snoring and the severity of coronary artery disease in men. Psychosom Med 1994;56:232-6.

16. Hu FB, Willett WC, Manson JE, et al. Snoring and risk of cardiovascular disease in women. J Am Coll Cardiol 2000;35:308-13.

17. Bixler EO, Vgontzas AN, Lin HM, et al. Association of hypertension and sleep-disordered breathing. Arch Intern Med 2000;160:2289-95.

18. Nieto FJ, Young TB, Lind BK, et al. Association of sleep-disordered breathing, sleep apnea, and hypertension in a large community-based study. Sleep Heart Health Study. JAMA 2000;283:1829-36.

19. Gislason T, Benediktsdottir B, Bjornsson JK, et al. Snoring, hypertension, and the sleep apnea syndrome. An epidemiologic survey of middle-aged women. Chest 1993;103:1147-51.

20. Shaver JL, Zenk SN. Sleep disturbance in menopause. J Womens Health Gend Based Med 2000;9:109-18 [review].

21. Lindberg E, Taube A, Janson C, et al. A 10-year follow-up of snoring in men. Chest 1998;114:1048-55.

22. Koskenvuo M, Partinen M, Kaprio J, et al. Snoring and cardiovascular risk factors. Ann Med 1994;26:371-6.

23. Slyper AH. Childhood obesity, adipose tissue distribution, and the pediatric practitioner. Pediatrics 1998;102:e4 [review].

24. Elmasry A, Janson C, Lindberg E, et al. The role of habitual snoring and obesity in the development of diabetes: a 10-year follow-up study in a male population. J Intern Med 2000;248:13-20.

25. Fairbanks DN. Nonsurgical treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1989;100:633-5 [review].

26. Collard P, Rodenstein DO. Management of simple snoring in adults. Monaldi Arch Chest Dis 1993;48:623-6 [review].

27. Fritsch K, Bloch KE. Noninvasive alternatives to CPAP in therapy of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Ther Umsch 2000;57:449-53 [in German; review].

28. Braver HM, Block AJ, Perri MG. Treatment for snoring. Combined weight loss, sleeping on side, and nasal spray. Chest 1995;107:1283-8.

29. Sonna LA, Smith PL, Schwartz AR. Obstructive sleep apnea presenting during infantry field exercises: does the Army Weight Control Program protect soldiers from obstructive sleep apnea? Mil Med 1996;161:362-6.

30. Aubert-Tulkens G, Culee C, Rodenstein DO. Cure of sleep apnea syndrome after long-term nasal continuous positive airway pressure therapy and weight loss. Sleep 1989;12:216-22.

31. Benninger, MS. The impact of cigarette smoking and environmental tobacco smoke on nasal and sinus disease: a review of the literature. Am J Rhinol 1999;13:435-8.

32. Phillips BA, Danner FJ. Cigarette smoking and sleep disturbance. Arch Intern Med 1995;155:734-7.

33. Wetter DW, Young TB, Bidwell TR, et al. Smoking as a risk factor for sleep-disordered breathing. Arch Intern Med 1994;154:2219-24.

34. Delasnerie-Laupretre N, Patois E, Valatx JL, et al. Sleep, snoring and smoking in high school students. J Sleep Res 1993;2:138-142.

35. Forastiere F, Corbo GM, Michelozzi P, et al. Effects of environment and passive smoking on the respiratory health of children. Int J Epidemiol 1992;21:66-73.

36. Corbo GM, Fuciarelli F, Foresi A, De Benedetto F. Snoring in children: association with respiratory symptoms and passive smoking. BMJ 1989;299:1491-4.

37. Kauffmann F, Annesi I, Neukirch F, et l. The relation between snoring and smoking, body mass index, age, alcohol consumption and respiratory symptoms. Eur Respir J 1989;2:599-603.

38. Stradling JR, Crosby JH. Predictors and prevalence of obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring in 1001 middle aged men. Thorax 1991;46:85-90.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

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