IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
Diagnosis of snoring focuses on finding out whether you might have sleep apnea. Your doctor will do a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history. Because a physical exam and medical history cannot determine if you have sleep apnea, a sleep study almost always will be done if your doctor suspects the condition. For more information about sleep studies, see:
For more information on exams and tests for sleep apnea, see the Exams and Tests section of the topic Sleep Apnea.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:3
Snoring is treated through lifestyle changes such as losing weight (if necessary), quitting smoking, changing sleep habits (such as sleeping on your side instead of your back), and avoiding the use of alcohol and sedatives before you go to bed. If nasal congestion is the cause of your snoring, nasal dilators (such as nasal strips), decongestants, and nasal corticosteroid sprays may be used. Oral breathing devices, which push the tongue and jaw forward to improve airflow, may also be an option.
If snoring continues despite these treatments, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or surgery may be tried. Implants that stiffen your palate can help reduce snoring and the daytime sleepiness it causes.4 But snoring is not always considered a medical problem, so insurance may not cover treatment.
Initial and ongoing treatment
Snoring is often treated successfully by making lifestyle changes. You can:
If nasal congestion is present, you can try clearing your nasal passages or using medicines such as decongestants and nasal corticosteroid sprays. These open the airway, permitting a smoother airflow, and may reduce snoring. But inhaled decongestants should not be used for a long period of time.
Oral breathing devices sometimes can treat snoring, especially if it is caused by jaw position during sleep.
If your bed partner is bothered by your snoring, he or she may try using earplugs or machines that play ambient music or natural sounds. These can block or cover up the noise.
If snoring continues, your doctor may want to examine you again to see whether you have developed upper airway resistance syndrome or sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which you periodically stop breathing during sleep. For more information, see the topic Sleep Apnea.
Treatment if the condition gets worse
If your snoring gets worse, talk to your doctor. You may need to be tested to see whether you have developed upper airway resistance syndrome or sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which you periodically stop breathing during sleep.
Your doctor may suggest continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). CPAP is the standard treatment for sleep apnea but is rarely used for snoring. For more information on CPAP, see the topic Sleep Apnea.
In extreme cases, the following surgeries may be performed.
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