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Snoring


Snoring is a sound a person makes during sleep when his or her breathing is disrupted. Usually there is some type of blockage, such as swollen tissue, in one or more of the passages from the mouth or nose to the lungs.

The sound is made by tissues inside the airway vibrating and knocking against the back of the throat. It can be soft, loud, raspy, harsh, hoarse, or fluttering.

Snoring is treated through lifestyle changes such as:

  • Losing weight if necessary.
  • Quitting smoking.
  • Improving sleep habits, such as sleeping on the side rather than on the back.
  • Avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bed.

If lifestyle changes do not help, snoring can be treated with nasal strips, decongestants, or inhaled corticosteroids. Sometimes oral breathing devices, which improve airflow by pushing the tongue and jaw forward, are also used.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerMark A. Rasmus, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
Last RevisedJanuary 20, 2012

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