Snoring is a nuisance, especially to those next to a loud snorer or even those in a nearby room; however, there are steps that can be taken to hopefully reduce or even stop it completely. The snorer who hears daily complaints likely feels like they have no control over what happens when they are asleep.


That is true, but it is what the snorer does when they are awake that may contribute to this problem. And it’s an issue, not just for those who hear it on a nightly basis, but especially for the snorer.

That is true, but it is what the snorer does when they are awake that may contribute to this problem. And it’s an issue, not just for those who hear it on a nightly basis, but especially for the snorer.

The Causes of Snoring

Snoring is a very common problem that affects millions of Americans. Snoring is an effect on breathing stemming from the soft tissues that everyone has in their mouth and throat causing an obstruction to the airflow through the mouth and nose.

  • A large uvula – the tissue hanging down in the back of the throat may be the culprit
  • The soft palate, which is at the back of the roof of your mouth, can also contribute to snoring
  • A deviated septum, allergies, and sinus conditions can all play a part, too
  • Smoking, overeating and alcohol consumption can contribute to snoring

There may not be much the snorer can do about a soft palate, but how they take care of a sinus condition or allergies can definitely have an impact on how much they snore. There are procedures that can also alleviate a deviated septum.

Alcohol – and even some prescription medications – lead to relaxation of mouth tissues which could restrict airflow and contribute to habitual snoring. Refraining from alcohol consumption before bedtime is a simple behavior that can go a long way in the prevention of snoring.

Smoking causes restriction of the airways, which is a major cause of snoring. Cutting back on the use of tobacco products can reduce snoring and eliminating cigarettes may not only help with snoring, it can lead to other profoundly positive improvements in health.

Carrying excess body weight is another common cause of snoring that can be modified by the chronic snorer. Obese individuals have fat stored all over their bodies, and that fatty tissue in the neck can restrict the air passageway – bringing on the snoring. This is one of the causes that is of the greatest concern, especially if the snorer is also consuming too much alcohol as this scenario can also be a harbinger of a bigger medical problem – sleep apnea.

How One Can Stop Snoring

Relieving snoring can be as simple as changing the position that a person sleeps in. Simply changing from laying on the back to laying on one’s side can be enough for the average snorer. This position is also favored by doctors to aid in reducing the back pressure that laying on one’s stomach or back can cause. If it’s a temporary problem due to allergies or a cold, an over-the-counter decongestant or antihistamine can relieve the obstruction and quell snoring.

If the snoring is found to be an indication of sleep apnea, medical steps must be taken. Sleep apnea occurs when the tissues not only cause loud noises due to blocking the airways, but also prevent air from getting to the lungs for long stretches of time. This can cause heart stoppages and wake the sleeper up many times during the night. In extreme cases, sleep apnea can result in death. Those who are overweight, and any others with sleep apnea symptoms, need to have their sleep tested and take steps to combat this dangerous condition.

When snoring becomes a problem in the household, an ENT specialist should be consulted. Snoring could be a part of a much more serious health problem that could produce potentially fatal results if not addressed.  An ENT specialist has the tools to identify the root cause of your snoring and the ability to prescribe the most suitable treatment to prevent snoring from having a major impact on your day to day life. Contact Dr. Light today to discuss your snoring issues, and see how we can help get you on the track to a better night’s rest.