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Snoring is a loud breathing sound that occurs during sleep. It can increase the risk for diabetes, obesity, hypertension, stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular problems. Possible causes include:

  • Being overweight
  • Tissue swelling during the last month of pregnancy
  • Crooked or bent nasal septum, which is the wall of bone and cartilage between your nostrils
  • Growths in your nasal passages
  • Stuffy nose from a cold or allergies
  • Swelling in the roof of your mouth (soft palate) or the uvula, the piece of tissue that hangs down in the back of your mouth
  • Swollen adenoids and tonsils that block the airways
  • A tongue that is wider at the base, or a larger tongue in a smaller mouth
  • Poor muscle tone

Signs & Symptoms

Snoring is often associated with a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. If snoring is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, the patient may need to be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea:

  • Witnessed breathing pauses during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Morning headaches
  • Sore throat upon awakening
  • Restless sleep
  • Gasping or choking at night
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain at night
  • Snoring so loud it’s disrupting partner’s sleep


Snoring is easy to diagnose, though the underlying cause may require additional testing by a Deborah Specialty Physician.