Solutions for Snoring

The sleep surgery team at UChicago Medicine treats the full spectrum of airway related concerns. For patients without obstructive sleep apnea but suffer from disruptive snoring, our experienced team can work with you to find the best solution to your snoring.

Frequently Asked Questions About Snoring

Snoring is the sound created by the upper airway when tissues in the throat vibrate while you sleep. Snoring can be severe, causing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The first step in a snoring evaluation is determining if it is a sign of a more serious medical condition. Your physician will likely recommend an at-home sleep test if your snoring causes persistent disruption.

Diagnosis for snoring will start with reviewing your medical history and doing a complete upper airway examination in the office looking specifically for areas of blockage or narrowing. Your physician will examine for a deviated nasal septum, turbinate enlargement, nasal valve collapse, signs of allergies or sinusitis.

Factors that can contribute to snoring include alcohol, sleeping position, smoking and certain medications. Weight can be a contributing factor. Even a small amount of recent weight gain can change a person’s propensity toward snoring.

Polysomnography, an overnight sleep study, can help rule out other types of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. A CT scan of the sinuses can be used to evaluate sinusitis.

Treatment often begins by reviewing any drugs or medical conditions that may be causing your snoring or making it worse.

Optimizing nasal breathing is typically the first step in helping a patient with snoring. Nasal congestion and obstruction can cause disruption of airflow that leads to abnormal breathing and snoring downstream in the throat. Treatment starts with topical medical nasal sprays and/or testing for allergies and appropriate treatment.

Some patients may require surgery to correct nasal abnormalities.

Your physician may recommend an advanced test with a drug induced sleep endoscopy for more severe snoring that doesn’t respond to standard medical treatment.

Patients whose snoring is caused by palate vibration and/or tongue malposition may need a custom oral appliance from a dentist.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a method used to gently provide an energy current to shrink or stiffen the palate or nasal turbinates tissues. Stiffening the palate tissue reduces vibration and improves snoring. Shrinking the turbinate tissues opens the nasal airway without requiring a more extensive operation. This procedure is well tolerated and done under local anesthetic with no sedation.

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Request an Appointment

The information you provide will enable us to assist you as efficiently as possible. A representative will contact you within one to two business days to help you schedule an appointment.

You can also make an appointment with our providers by:

Scheduling an appointment through our online scheduling portal

Scheduling a virtual video visit to see a provider from the comfort of your home

Requesting an online second opinion from our specialists 

To speak to someone directly, please call 773-702-1865. If you have symptoms of an urgent nature, please call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.


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