Snoring is a sound made during sleep. It is the sound of the throat vibrating as air flows through it.
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Air should be able to move easily through your mouth, nose, and throat. Sometimes, during sleep, air cannot move through these areas easily. This turbulent airflow makes the roof of the mouth vibrate. This is what causes the snoring sound. Smaller airways can lead to louder snoring. Airflow may be obstructed by:
- Weak muscles in the tongue and throat
- Enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or other obstructions such as a tumors or cysts
- Excessive tissue around the throat due to obesity
- A long, soft palate
- A long uvula
- Deformities of the nose or nasal septum
- Small chin, overbite, or high palate
- Congested nasal passages from a cold, flu, sinus infection, or allergies
Last reviewedMay 2013by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.