Snoring is noisy breathing during sleep that happens when tissue vibrates in the upper airway. It is a common problem that affects most people at some time during their lives.

It is often harmless, and it may be relieved through home remedies. If these do not work, treatment may be available. Sometimes snoring is linked to a more serious health problem. If snoring is disruptive, or if there are other symptoms, it is best to see a doctor.

Fast facts about snoring

  • Snoring is a common but treatable condition.
  • It happens when turbulent air flows through the airway, causing the uvula and soft palate to vibrate.
  • Snoring may be related to sleep apnea, which is a symptom of high blood pressure and other conditions.
  • Men snore more often than women.
  • Some home remedies and exercises can help prevent snoring.

Causes

Snoring

Snoring can be annoying, and sometimes it can be a sign of an underlying problem.

During waking hours, the tissues in the throat and upper airway are open for easy air intake to the lungs.

During sleep, the soft tissues and tongue relax, and can partially block the airway.

If the air coming in and out of the airway meets enough resistance, vibration, or snoring, can occur.

Obesity, smoking, drinking alcohol, or having frequent nasal congestion all increase the risk of habitual snoring. Snoring is thought to affect 44 percent of males and 28 percent of femalesbetween the ages of 30 and 60 years.

Snoring can indicate a medical condition such as:

Snoring has been linked to a thickening of the wall of the carotid arteries, which carry blood to the brain. This can increase the risk of stroke.