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Snoring occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes too much and starts to vibrate. The sound from this vibration can become loud and disruptive to bed partners. Chronic loud snoring can be an indication of more serious sleep disordered breathing such as Sleep Apnoea. If you snore loudly with occasional pauses in breathing, and frequently wake up during the night, you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.

Causes of Snoring

  • Age – (Loss of muscle tone)
  • Obesity
  • Sleeping on your back
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids (especially in children)
  • Alcohol – drinking relaxes the muscles
  • Use of certain drugs (e.g. sleeping tablets)
  • Pregancy
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nose deformities

“I just snore – I don’t have Sleep Apnoea?”

Snoring is very common amongst middle-aged men, and increasingly, also middle-aged women in Australia. Statistics suggests 50% of people who snore only about 15% will have Sleep Apnoea. Therefore, if you snore, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have Sleep Apnoea, however very loud chronic snoring IS a symptom of Sleep Apnoea. It is also worth noting that even though you do not snore, it does not mean that you do not have Sleep Apnea.


Treatment for snoring varies according to the severity of snoring, presence of sleep apnoea, age, body mass index, severity of daytime fatigue, alcohol-consumption, medical history and nasal or upper airway abnormalities. It may be worth having a sleep study to rule out obstructive sleep apnoea before other treatment options are investigated.

For more information and treatment for Snoring click on the link below:

Sleep Health Foundation – Snoring PDF


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