Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can I get my wife to stop snoring?"
My wife is a really bad snorer but won't do anything about it. I said she needs to see a doctor about it, but she says no way. How can I stop her from snoring? Is it just the position she sleeps in or is something wrong with her nose or throat?
You ask some very insightful questions about snoring. First of all, snoring can be a sign of an underlying anatomic abnormality or even a more serious condition such as sleep apnea. If there is a significant snoring issue, it is probably in your wife's best interest to see her primary care physician for an evaluation. When it comes to the mechanics of snoring, certain people will be prone to making such noises while they sleep because of the underlying anatomy in the back of their throat. Enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or uvula can lead to snoring. In addition, being overweight or obese can also make a person more prone to snoring. In this kind of situation, it is possible for surgical correction to make a difference in a person's snoring. However, there is no guarantee with such intervention, and many people are not willing to undergo surgery for something they don't notice. In addition to mechanical causes, what some bed partners will describe as snoring can also be a manifestation of sleep apnea, where people will temporarily stop breathing for a period of some seconds before starting to breathe again. The gasp with resumed breathing can often sound like a snore. If a person snores or gasps because of sleep apnea, wearing a machine at night that provides positive pressure to the airway (called BiPAP or CPAP) can help with snoring and daytime fatigue. Again, please discuss further with your wife's doctor!
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