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Which Snoring Disorder Do You Have?

If your snoring is rattling the windows and keeping your partner awake at night, you are not alone as more than thirty percent of the adult population suffers from some type of snoring disorder. When looking at trying to solve your snoring issue, it is first necessary to understand the disorder that is causing your snoring problems.

This is especially important because in order to understand why you snore, it is first necessary to rule out obstructive sleep apnea, which can be a very serious sleeping disorder and can cause many health problems if not treated. For those who are unfamiliar with sleep apnea, it is a condition where a person ceases breathing for short periods of time while sleeping and is almost always accompanied by loud snoring.

To determine the cause of your snoring problems, it may be necessary to visit a sleep and snoring clinic and undergo a polysomnogram (sleep study) where sleep specialists will monitor your sleeping and breathing patterns. If the specialists determine that you have a form of sleep apnea, then they will be able to provide you with more information on what you can do to ensure that you continue breathing normally throughout the night.

If you are lucky enough to be able to rule out sleep apnea as the cause of your snoring issues, then there are several other disorders that could be the cause of your snoring problems. We will focus on a few of the most common disorders and provide more information on each of them and what you can do to treat your specific snoring problem.

Types of Snoring Disorders

snoring disorderGenerally, snoring disorders can be divided into two categories: sleep apnea related snoring and snoring that is not associated with sleep apnea, also known as primary snoring

All types of snoring, even sleep apnea, are related to obstructions of the air passages in the nose and throat. 

These obstructions cause the individual to have to force air through the passage which causes vibrations of tissue and this is what causes the snoring noises.

Primary snoring is characterized by loud upper respiratory breathing without a cessation of breathing like in sleep apnea. 

Normally, people with primary snoring do not suffer from insomnia or excessive tiredness like those with apnea, as the snoring typically does not wake them up or keep them awake for long periods of time. 

When an individual with primary snoring undergoes a polysomnogram, the results show normal breathing and sleeping patterns, as well as typical levels of oxygen in the blood stream.

snoring disorderMost primary snoring is related to the soft palate and uvula blocking the airway at the back of the throat, and there are many things you can do to help solve this snoring issue. 

There are anti-snoring devices, herbal supplements, throat sprays, special pillows, exercises, and many other solutions which should be able to help with this snoring problem.  

If none of these devices work, then many sleep specialists will recommend a technique known as radiofrequency ablation which shrinks and tightens the soft palate. In new studies, this technique has been shown to be effective for more than 75% of people, so it may be highly recommended although only as a last resort.

Still, not all snoring disorders are caused by blockages of the throat. Another disorder that is quite common is a deviated septum.

Snoring Caused by a Deviated Septum


Recent studies have shown that more than 80% of individuals have some sort of deviation in their nasal septum. For those of you who do not know what this means: the septum is the bone and cartilage which splits the nasal cavity in half.


In individuals with a deviated septum, the bone and cartilage are either crooked, or a tad off center which results in nasal congestion and difficulty breathing. The cause of this problem could be due to a broken nose, although many people are born with this issue.

snoring disorderEven though many researchers estimate that 80% of people have some sort of septum deviation, most people are blissfully unaware of it and it doesn’t cause them any problems breathing or sleeping. 

Still, for people with a severely deviated septum, snoring problems are incredibly commonplace and can cause serious problems with sleeping and breathing.

If you snore through your nose
night after night, then it's possible that you have some form of septum deviation. 

Unfortunately, while a polysomnogram will rule out sleep apnea as the cause of your snoring issue, it cannot diagnose a deviated septum so you may be diagnosed as having primary snoring. 

In this case, it will be necessary to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist who can perform a full scan of your nasal passages to see if septum deviation is the cause. This is important, because nasal snoring could also be related to a less serious condition known as nasal polyps, which can simply be scraped out while the individual is under a local anesthetic.

Still, if your doctor determines that septum deviation is causing your snoring, then you will need to determine whether or not you feel you can live with the problem. This is because there is basically only one solution to this problem, and that is a surgical procedure known as septoplasty. In a few cases, medication may help provide some relief, however a septoplasty is the only real cure for this problem.

In a septoplasty procedure, a surgeon will actually remove part of the bone and cartilage to allow the nasal cavities to be open and for normal nasal breathing functions to return. This surgery is fairly straightforward and most people recover quite quickly. Nonetheless, like any surgery, this procedure comes with inherent risks. Still, for many individuals with a deviated septum, this is their only hope so the risks are well worth being able to breathe properly and finally stop their snoring problems.

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