Snoring & Sleep Apnea | Causes and Symptoms

Top view photo of young couple lying in bed under white blanket. Woman is angry because of snoring husband

Snoring & Sleep Apnea Causes and Symptoms

What Causes Snoring?

Patients ask the sleep experts at Atlanta Snoring Institute What causes snoring? Those who suffer from snoring can often develop a good idea of their problem areas by paying attention to their symptoms. The following guide is designed to help align patient symptoms with possible causes.

Effective treatment options for snoring patients and for sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea are also listed here. Each anatomical problem is followed by treatments that are the most effective in providing relief and improving overall health.


Deviated Septum

A deviated septum is characterized by a deviation of the cartilage and bone that separates the left and right sides of the nose.


  • Nasal congestion
  • Nasal obstruction (usually worse on one side)


  1. Septoplasty


Turbinate Hypertrophy

Turbinate hypertrophy is the most common cause of nasal congestion, which contributes to snoring in many people.


  • Nasal congestion (often worse when lying down)
  • Nasal obstruction (often alternating between sides of the nose)


  1. Turbinate reduction
  2. Prescription nasal sprays
  3. Allergy testing and desensitization



Palate Obstruction

Obstruction of the palate is the primary contributor to snoring in most people and often a primary cause of obstructive sleep apnea.


  • Loud, “sawing” snoring (often worse when laying on back)
  • A sensation of a flap blocking the throat at night, interrupting normal breathing and sleep


  1. Pillar Procedure
  2. Soft palate Coblation
  3. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)



Airway Obstruction by the Tongue

The tongue falling backwards into the airway at night can be a major contributor to sleep apnea. This is more common when a person has short jaws, causing an overbite.


  • Choking sounds at night or sensation of choking on your tongue at night


  1. Base of tongue reduction
  2. AIRvance Procedure
  3. Oral appliances



Enlarged Tonsils

Large tonsils are the primary cause of sleep apnea in small children.


  • Loud snoring with sleep pauses, worsening with throat infections
  • Swallowing problems


  1. Tonsillar reduction
  2. Tonsillectomy




Thickened fat pads in the lower throat narrow the airway and decrease muscular tone, leading to snoring and sleep apnea. Being overweight also reduces the effectiveness of all of the above treatments.


  1. Diet and exercise programs are often an integral part of sleep apnea management



At Atlanta Snoring Institute, we specialize in identifying the causes of your snoring or sleep apnea and offer a full range of treatments designed to improve or eliminate your symptoms. In many cases, our patients can be successfully treated in the office without the need for surgery or long-term devices.  We hope to have the privilege of working with you and your family.


Want to learn more or make an appointment? Contact us today!

Many of our patients can be successfully treated in-office without the need for surgery or long-term devices.

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