There are a number of procedures that may be of benefit to patients in whom snoring is a primary complaint.  Surgical procedures to improve the airways and reduce snoring include septoplastytonsillectomy and "UPPP" (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty).

Snoring is defined as noisy breathing caused by vibration of the airway walls at the back of the throat during sleep. It is a common condition in the general population, and increases in incidence with age.

Snoring is due to obstruction at one or more of the following levels:

  •    Nasal airway eg deviated nasal septum causing obstruction
  •    Tonsils – especially if enlarged
  •    Soft palate - if overly long or floppy
  •    Tongue base – if large or displaced toward the back of the throat
  •    Muscles of the throat – if hypotonic or floppy – eg after alcohol
  •    Bulky neck/throat – eg if overweight

Snoring may be a source of disharmony in relationships, and in some may be associated with a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea.

This occurs if there is complete collapse of the airway walls with snoring, causing a temporary cessation in breathing.

This has secondary effects of poor sleep quality, daytime tiredness, and sometimes high blood pressure or cardiac complications.

Patients presenting with possible obstructive sleep apnoea will have a thorough assessment and be referred for a sleep study.

Weight loss and reducing alcohol intake are helpful.