Snoring Causes and Symptoms

What is snoring?

Snoring is a common problem that’s estimated to affect more than 30 million Americans on a regular basis, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Snoring is the sound that results from soft tissues in the airway vibrating, which can range from being intermittent to habitual, from soft to loud.

When snoring is habitual, it can sometimes indicate the presence of obstructive sleep apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder that can negatively impact your health and place you at risk for other health complications. Chronic snoring can have a negative impact on others as well — affecting your bed partner and anyone who sleeps within earshot.

What causes snoring?

Snoring occurs when the airway becomes partially blocked during sleep, and air is not able to easily flow through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This causes negative air pressure, which leads to vibrations of the soft tissue, creating the sound we associate with snoring.

If you only snore on rare occasions, it may not have significant consequences, other than potentially keeping a bed partner awake during the night. However, if your snoring occurs often — more than once or twice a week — it may be a sign that there’s an underlying problem that’s preventing you from breathing properly.

Snoring can be caused by a wide range of factors, including:

  • Having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • Having excess soft tissues in the airway (e.g. soft palate)
  • Being overweight
  • Having tonsillitis (inflamed tonsils)
  • Having a deviated septum
  • Having a common cold or allergies
  • Consuming alcohol before bed
  • Eating before bed
  • Taking sleep aids
  • Sleeping on your back

When should I see a doctor for snoring?

If your snoring is a chronic problem that is causing troublesome symptoms, it is important to have your condition evaluated with a sleep study (polysomnography).

Symptoms of snoring may include:

  • Loud breathing or gasping during sleep (often noticed by a bed partner)
  • Waking up throughout the night
  • Morning headaches
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Sore throat
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain during the night
  • Lack of daytime focus
  • Memory loss

If you believe you may be suffering from severe snoring or sleep apnea, consult a sleep specialist at eos sleep diagnostics. A sleep study at our state-of-the-art Manhattan sleep lab can determine whether you are suffering from sleep apnea or any other sleep disorders. Our facility offers a comfortable in-office sleep lab as well as the ability to take an at-home sleep study.

To schedule a sleep study at eos sleep diagnostics’ NYC sleep lab, call 212.752.4345 or fill out the form on this page to request an appointment with one of our sleep specialists.

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