How is snoring treated?

Weight loss is the single most effective way to reduce snoring.

Recovery depends on the correct diagnosis and a treatment approach that includes medical and surgical treatments.

Non-surgical treatments

  • A patient can be fitted with a nasal mask that provides continuous or modified positive air pressure (CPAP) through the nose to the throat. This should help the patient breathe better and sleep throughout the night
  • Nasal steroids and other allergy treatments
  • Dental appliances

Surgical treatments

  • Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy
  • Removes this excess tissue from the back of the throat and nose. This is commonly used for children and in select adult patients.
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
  • Tightens and rearranges redundant tissues in the throat and palate. This is often prescribed for patients who have moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Laser-assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP)
  • A laser procedure that removes an airway obstruction. This treatment is performed under local anesthesia in a doctor's office and is intended for snorers and for cases of mild obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Somnoplasty
  • A minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to shrink excessive tissue in the palate, uvula, and tongue tissue. This treatment can also be used to relieve nasal obstruction.
  • Genioglossus, hyoid, or maxillomandibular advancement
  • Surgical treatments for sleep apnea that position the tongue forward to keep the lower throat from collapsing during sleep.
  • Hypoglossal nerve stimulation
  • Involves placement of a device similar to a cardiac pacemaker that synchronizes tongue movement with breathing. This gently moves the tongue forward to keep the lower throat from collapsing during sleep.
  • Septoplasty and turbinate surgery
  • Reduces the resistance to the flow of air through the nose.

What steps can I take to control my occasional snoring?

If you occasionally snore, you can try the following behavior changes to help control the problem:

  • Lose weight and improve your eating habits.
  • Avoid tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and antihistamines before you go to bed.
  • Avoid alcohol or snacks at least four hours before you sleep.
  • Try to keep regular sleeping patterns. For example, try to go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Sleep on your side rather than on your back.
  • Tilt the head of your bed up four inches.
  • Talk to your doctor or sleep specialist.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/25/2014.


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