Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is snoring a type of nose problem?"
Or is it a type of mouth problem? Is it both? Do any of the stop-snoring gimmicks work?
From a medical standpoint, snoring itself is more of an annoying problem for partners rather than an actual condition. However, snoring can be a sign of another medical problem that can be detrimental to your health called obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is a problem with the oral pharynx (part of the throat). Muscles that normally act to keep the throat open tend to relax during sleep. This causes the opening in the throat going to the lungs to get narrower. In some people this area gets narrow enough that air moving through this smaller area becomes turbulent and makes a noise. There is a fine line between snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a disease where the oral pharynx actually closes (instead of just narrowing) creating times when someone actually stops breathing. If you are a snorer, then you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Your doctor may give you a test to look for signs that you have OSA. If it is clear that you do not have OSA, then you can talk about methods to reduce snoring. These include sleeping on your side or stomach, avoiding alcohol or sleep aides before bed, and the use of a mouth piece that reduces snoring.
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