Harvard Health Letter

By the way, doctor: What can I do about my snoring?

Q. My wife says I snore a lot. I don't think I have sleep apnea, but I'm not sure. Is there anything I can do for a serious snoring problem?

A. People snore when the airways in the nose and throat get too small, so the air rushing in and out as they inhale and exhale gets funneled through a narrower passageway. The noise is mainly from the vibration of loose tissue, often the soft palate, the slender piece of tissue in the back of the throat.

Some people are snorers because they have too much throat and nasal tissue. Others have floppy tissue that's more likely to vibrate. The tongue can get in the way of smooth breathing. And being overweight is a cause: Extra fat tissue in the neck and throat sometimes presses in on airways.

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