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Source : CHUM Montréal

In some cases, snoring is a sign of a serious health problem: sleep apnea. In other cases, it harms your partner’s quality of life. This sheet explains what to do if you snore.

Why am I snoring? It depends on the type of snoring.

  • Simple snoring : It comes from the soft tissues of the throat (see diagrams below). During sleep, they vibrate when you inhale. This can produce a very loud noise. This type of snoring is nothing to worry about if it doesn’t interfere with your sleep and daytime activities. On the other hand, it can bother your partner a lot and harm your life as a couple. THE
    simple snoring exists in 4 out of 10 people. The older we get, the more we tend to snore. Snoring is also more prevalent in men than in women.
  • Sleep apnea snoring : Snoring can also be a sign of a more serious problem: sleep apnea. This disease causes breathing to stop while you sleep. It must be treated because it can cause:
  1. – high blood pressure (hypertension)
  2. – heart disease (cardiovascular)
  3. – diabetes
  4. – signs of depression
  5. – anxiety
  6. – reduced quality of life

What causes snoring?
The causes are multiple. Here are the main ones:

  • Family history of snoring
  • Stuffy nose for multiple reasons (sinusitis, allergies, nasal passages distorted)
  • Sleep on the back
  • Long uvula, distended soft palate, thick tongue base large tonsils
  • Small chin tilted back (retrognathia)
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Lack of sleep
  • Taking medication to sleep (sleeping pills)
  • Menopause

What should I watch out for?

If you or your partner think that you may have sleep apnea, if you have any doubts or if snoring is bothersome for you or your partner, you should consult.
It is important that you are accompanied by your partner to your medical appointment. He or she will be able to answer the following questions from your doctor:

  • Do you snore mostly when you sleep on your back (snore positional)?
  • Do you snore every night or once in a while?
  • Do you seem to stop breathing at times during the night?

The answers to these questions will help your doctor see if you have sleep apnea. If so, he will decide with you on the best treatment.

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