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Is My Snoring Dangerous or Just Annoying?

This information has been reviewed and approved by Sheila Tsai, MD (February 2024).

Is My Snoring Dangerous or Just Annoying?

Snoring — sound made when tissues from the nose to the throat vibrate during sleep


  • Tonsils
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Nasal polyps
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Obesity of the neck
  • Deviated septum
  • Smoking before bed
  • Drinking alcohol before bed
  • Allergy or cold inflammation


Snore Less

  • Don't sleep on your back
  • Lose weight
  • Limit alcohol and smoking
  • Diagnosis and treatment
  • Limit opiates, barbiturates and anxiety medications


When is Snoring Dangerous?

Loud snoring can be a serious sleep disorder.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a blockage that stops breathing and disturbs sleep.


OSA Symptoms and Effects on Health

  • Loud, disruptive snoring
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Choking or gasping awake from sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problems with attention or memory
  • Irritability or depression
  • Morning headaches
  • High blood pressure

If any of these symptoms occur with loud snoring, speak to your doctor for further evaluation.


Sleep Studies

In a Sleep Lab

  • Records snoring, pauses in breathing, oxygen desaturations and muscle movement
  • Identifies sleep stages, body position, blood oxygen levels, respiratory events, muscle tone, heart rate, eye movement, brain waves, amount of snoring and general sleep behavior

At Home

  • Records oxygen saturation, heart rate, airflow, chest and abdomen movement, time snoring and sleep position
  • 50 to 70 million people have a sleep disorder
  • Half of Americans report snoring
  • 50 percent of loud snorers have obstructive sleep apnea
  • ~31% of men have obstructive sleep apnea
  • ~21% of women have obstructive sleep apnea