Common reasons for snoring include nasal obstruction, large adenoids and/or tonsils, and tongue or throat collapse. Snoring sounds are typically made by the vibration of tissues in the throat while breathing during sleep. Patients with snoring should also be screened for symptoms of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a frequently undiagnosed condition in which a person has pauses in breathing during sleep. The most common type of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), occurs when a person's upper airway causes obstruction of airflow. When airflow is interrupted, sleep becomes fragmented and less restorative, oxygen levels can drop, and carbon dioxide levels may rise in the blood. A thorough history and physical by an otolaryngologist can help determine the contributing factors to snoring, and if sleep apnea is an additional concern, make further recommendations.