Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound, due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping. In some cases the sound may be soft, but in other cases, it can be rather loud and quite unpleasant. The structures are usually the uvula and soft palate. The irregular airflow is caused by a blockage and usually due to one of the following:
* Throat weakness, causing the throat to close during sleep
* Mispositioned jaw, often caused by tension in the muscles
* Fat gathering in and around the throat
* Obstruction in the nasal passageway

Statistics on snoring are often contradictory, but at least 30% of adults and perhaps as many as 50% of people in some demographics snore. [cite news|date=2001-09-19|title=New Vaccine Could Cure Snoring (statistics insert)|publisher=BBC News|url=] One survey of 5713 Italian residents identified habitual snoring in 24% of men and 13.8% of women, rising to 60% of men and 40% of women aged 60 to 65 years; this suggests an increased susceptibility to snoring as age increases. [cite news|date=|title=Some epidemiological data on snoring and cardiocirculatory disturbances|publisher=Lugaresi E., Cirignotta F., Coccoagna G. et al. (1980), Sleep 3, 221–224|url=*%29+and+%28allfield%3A%2860%29%29]


Snoring is known to cause date=1999-01-12|title=The effect of surgery upon the quality of life in snoring patients and their partners: a between-subjects case-controlled trial|publisher=M. W. J. Armstrong, C. L. Wallace & J. Marais, Clinical Otolaryngology & Allied Sciences 24 6 Page 510|url=*%29] Multiple studies reveal a positive correlation between loud snoring and risk of heart attack (about +34% chance) and stroke (about +67% chance). [ [ BBC NEWS | Health | Snoring 'linked to heart disease' ] ]

Armstrong et al. at the date=1993|title=Quality of life in mild obstructive sleep apnea|publisher=Gall, R., Isaac, L., Kryger, M. (1993) Sleep, 16, S59 S61] , Cartwright and Knight [cite news|date=1987] |title=Silent partners: the wives of sleep apneic patients|publisher=Cartwright, R.D. & Knight, S. (1987) Sleep, 10, 244 248.] and Fitzpatrick et al. [cite news|date=1993] |title= Snoring, asthma and sleep disturbance in Britain: a community-based survey|publisher=Fitzpatrick, M.F., Martin, K., Fossey, E et al. (1993) Eur. Respir. J. 69, 531 535.]


Usually, snoring is recognized by a friend or partner who observes the patient sleeping. Besides the 'noise' of snoring, more complex conditions such as sleep apnea can be consistent with the symptom of snoring. A sleep study can identify such issues. Patients can also assess their own condition to determine the likelihood of such problems based on the severity of their sleeping difficulties.


Almost all treatments for snoring revolve around clearing the blockage in the breathing passage. This is the reason snorers are advised to lose weight (to stop fat from pressing on the throat), stop smoking (smoking weakens and clogs the throat) and sleep on their side (to prevent the tongue from blocking the throat).

Anti Snore Pillows

Specially designed pillows have been created to resolve snoring problems caused by sleep positioning. These pillows are specially shaped to help open the airway passages of the throat and nose. This allows air to flow more freely during sleep, which reduces the vibration of surrounding tissue. Anti snore pillows have a unique, wedge-shaped design with added head and neck support. This helps elevate the sleeper’s upper body and open the air passage of the throat.Fact|date=October 2008

Anti Snore Sprays

There are two ways a snore spray can work. The most popular snore sprays are those that lubricate the throat tissue. This allows easier air passage during sleep, which decreases the amount of tissue vibration that occurs. Such vibration is the cause of snoring sounds.Fact|date=October 2008

Dental appliances

Specially made dental appliances called mandibular advancement splints, which advance the lower jaw slightly and thereby pull the tongue forward, are a common mode of treatment for snoring. Typically, a dentist specializing in sleep apnea dentistry is consulted. Such appliances have been proven to be effective in reducing snoring and sleep apnea in cases where the apnea is mild to moderate. Mandibular advancement splints are often tolerated much better than CPAP machines. Possible but rare side effects include gradual movement of the teeth, Temporomandibular joint disorder, excess salivation and gum irritation.

Over-the-counter mandibular advancement splints provide the same benefits if fitted correctly.Fact|date=February 2008 They are usually made from an EVA polymer and are similar in appearance to protective mouth-guards worn for sports. One disadvantage of the cheaper devices compared to the professionally fitted devices is the difficulty in setting up the correct jaw position. An over-advanced jaw results in jaw joint pain, whilst an under-advanced jaw produces no therapeutic effect. The professionally fitted devices generally incorporate an adjustment mechanism so that jaw advancement can be easily increased or decreased after fitting. To adjust the "do it yourself" appliances it is necessary to reheat them and mold them again in the desired new position. Alternatively, given the low cost, a new splint can be used.

These over-the-counter devices can be purchased at pharmacies in most countries or online. In the United States, mandibular advancement splints are currently considered class 2 medical devices and cannot be legally sold without a prescription. Americans are, however, allowed to purchase these devices outside the United States and import them for personal use. In Australia, manufacturers can obtain approval from the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) allowing the devices to be sold via normal retail channels without the involvement of a doctor.

Positive airway pressure

A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is often used to control sleep apnea and the snoring associated with it. To keep the airway open, a shoebox-sized device pumps a controlled stream of air through a flexible hose to a mask worn over the nose, mouth, or both. [cite web
url =
title = Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
accessdate = 2007-07-02
publisher = American Academy of Otolaryngology−Head and Neck Surgery

Nasal strips

Nasal strips are adhered the outside of the nostrils to help widen them and thus allow better breathing and airflow.Fact|date=September 2008


Surgery is also available as a method of correcting social snoring. Some procedures, such as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, attempt to widen the airway by removing tissues in the back of the throat, including the uvula and pharynx. These surgeries are quite invasive, however, and there are risks of adverse side effects. The most dangerous risk is that enough scar tissue could form within the throat as a result of the incisions to make the airway more narrow than it was prior to surgery, diminishing the airspace in the velopharnyx. Scarring is an individual trait, so it is difficult for a surgeon to predict how much a person might be predisposed to scarring. Some patients have reported the development of severe sleep apnea as a result of damage to their airway caused by pharnygeal surgery.Fact|date=June 2008 Currently, the American Medical Association does not approve of the use of lasers to perform operations on the pharnyx or uvula.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a relatively new surgical treatment for snoring. This treatment applies radiofrequency energy and heat (between 77°C to 85°C) to the soft tissue at the back of the throat, such as the soft palate and uvula, causing scarring of the tissue beneath the skin. After healing, this results in stiffening of the treated area. The procedure takes less than one hour, is usually performed on an outpatient basis, and usually requires several treatment sessions. Discomfort and pain is usually minimal. Radiofrequency ablation is frequently effective in reducing the severity of snoring, but, often does not completely eliminate snoring. [ [ Snoring subdued with new treatment: 5/20/98 ] ] [ [ Radiofrequency ablation of the soft palate for snoring ] ]

Bipolar radiofrequency ablation, a technique used for coblation tonsillectomy, is also used for the treatment of snoring.


Snoring can be reduced by changing sleep positions in bed: sleeping on the side is a possible solution, to avoid rolling back it is possible to place a pillow or a "ball" on the back; raising the head is also another option, useful both while lying on the back or for supporting the head while lying on the side. [cite news|title=BBC Health website: snoring |url=]

Other treatments

Devices such as nose clips can dilate the nostrils and other devices can alter jaw mechanics to keep the jaw in an optimum position. Different aids and practices may work for different people. According to a 2005 article in the British Medical Journal, playing the didgeridoo can also help, as it increases muscle usage in the throat [cite news|date=2005-12-23|title=Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome|publisher=British Medical Journal|url=] . However, snoring is a recognized medical problem and people who snore should always seek professional medical advice before relying on techniques which may mask symptoms (i.e. snoring) but not treat the underlying condition.

Coping as partner

Earplugs may facilitate good sleep for people sharing the same bedroom with someone who snores. External earmuffs are not designed to sleep with. Other alternatives include white noise generators.

See also

* Sleep apnea

External links

* [ American Academy of Sleep Medicine information on snoring]
* [ American Sleep Apnea Association]
* [,20867,20346362-1702,00.html Snoring treatment slashes heart-attack rates]
* [ Snoring from]
* [ Snoring: Symptoms, Causes, Cures, and Treatment]
* [ Snoring: Self-assessment from Centre for Snoring and Sleep Disorders]
* [ "An escape from snoring hell"] , Irish Independent, August 9, 2007


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Snoring — Snor ing, n. (Physiol.) The act of respiring through the open mouth so that the currents of inspired and expired air cause a vibration of the uvula and soft palate, thus giving rise to a sound more or less harsh. It is usually unvoluntary, but… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • snoring — ▪ sleep disorder       a rough, hoarse noise produced upon the intake of breath (breathing) during sleep and caused by the vibration of the soft palate and vocal cords. It is often associated with obstruction of the nasal passages, which… …   Universalium

  • Snoring — Snore Snore (sn[=o]r), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Snored} (sn[=o]rd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Snoring}.] [OE. snoren, AS. snora a snoring; akin to LG. snoren, snorken, snurken, to snore, D. snorken, G. schnarchen to snore, schnarren to rattle, MHG. snarren,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Snoring — A rough rattling noise made on inspiration during sleep by vibration of the soft palate (the back of the roof of the mouth) and the uvula (the prominent structure dangling down at the back of the mouth). On inspiration, air on its way to the… …   Medical dictionary

  • snoring — noun the act of snoring or producing a snoring sound (Freq. 2) • Syn: ↑snore, ↑stertor • Derivationally related forms: ↑stertorous (for: ↑stertor), ↑snore, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • snoring — noun /ˈsnɔːrɪŋ/ The action or sound of breathing during sleep with harsh, snorting noises caused by vibration of the soft palate. His snoring was so loud that it woke the neighbors …   Wiktionary

  • snoring — n. noisy breathing while asleep due to vibration of the soft palate, uvula, pharyngeal walls, or epiglottis. In children it is often associated with enlargement of the tonsils and adenoids. Treatments of snoring include weight loss, tobacco and… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • Snoring Rail — Taxobox name = Snoring Rail status = VU | status system = IUCN3.1 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Gruiformes familia = Rallidae genus = Aramidopsis genus authority = Sharpe, 1893 species = A. plateni binomial =… …   Wikipedia

  • snoring rail — kvaksės statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Aramidopsis angl. snoring rail vok. Schnarchralle, f rus. сулавесский пастушок, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – vandeninės vištos siauresnis terminas – kvaksė …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • snoring rail — kvaksė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Aramidopsis plateni angl. snoring rail vok. Schnarchralle, f rus. сулавесский пастушок, m pranc. râle de Platen, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – kvaksės …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

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