Treating Loud Snoring: Causes, Signs, and Solutions

Last updated: September 21st, 2023


What is Snoring?

Almost everyone snores from time to time. Snoring is the hoarse sound of air passing through narrowed and/or relaxed tissues in the mouth and throat. While occasional snoring is not usually a health indicator, loud snoring can be disruptive and irritating for those around you. But loud, persistent snoring can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as obstructive sleep apnea.

What Causes Snoring?

There are several different factors that can increase the likelihood of snoring. Common causes of snoring include congestion, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, a deviated septum, nasal polyps, pregnancy, alcohol use, smoking, sleeping pills, and more. Even though children snore less commonly than adults, about 1 in 6 children snore on a regular basis.

When is Snoring a Sign of a More Serious Problem?

While most people who snore do not have sleep apnea, there are several signs that can indicate when snoring may be a sign of a more serious problem. In addition to snoring, symptoms to look out for include repeatedly stopping breathing for short periods, waking up gasping or choking, feeling very tired during the day, unintentionally falling asleep during activities, and headaches in the morning. If a child is snoring three or more nights a week, it is important to talk to their doctor to see if their snoring may be a sign of a different health condition, especially if they exhibit behaviors such as school or home problems.

How to Treat Loud Snoring

The treatment for loud and disruptive snoring depends on the underlying cause. If snoring is caused by an underlying medical condition such as sleep apnea, treating the condition is likely to help reduce the noise or eliminate it altogether. Some of the treatments that may help include anti-snoring mouthpieces or mouth guards, CPAP machines, lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills near bedtime, or surgery. Talking with a doctor is the best way to determine the appropriate treatment.

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