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NHS Choices Condition

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Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure for snoring. Most people try many different treatments to find the best for them.

Self-help advice

As some causes of snoring are related to lifestyle, there are changes you can make to minimise snoring, some of which include:

  • maintaining a healthy diet and weight,
  • getting regular exercise to strengthen muscles all over your body,
  • trying to sleep on your side rather than your back,
  • avoiding alcohol before going to bed, and
  • quitting or cutting down on smoking.

You should also try to keep your nasal passages clear, so you breathe in through your nose rather than your mouth. Try rubbing a few drops of eucalyptus or olbas oil onto your pillowcase.

If an allergy is blocking your nose, try antihistamine tablets or a nasal spray. Ask your pharmacist for advice and see your GP if you are affected long-term by an allergy or condition that affects your nose or breathing.

Other treatments you may also want to consider are nasal strips, which encourage you to breathe through your nose, and devices that reposition the jaw. Your pharmacist will be able to tell you what is available, or visit the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association's website for a list of available products (see 'useful links').

Seeing your GP

If you find that these self-help treatments do not work, talk with your GP. They can find the cause of your snoring, and if necessary, refer you to other treatments or even surgery. However, surgery will only be considered if lifestyle changes have been unsuccessful and if the problem is nasal obstruction (such as nasal polyps).

If you have a child who snores heavily and is sleepy throughout most of the day, he or she may have enlarged tonsils and may benefit from having them removed (tonsillectomy).

Surgery

Surgery to correct snoring can include correcting structural problems in the nose and removing excess tissue in the mouth and throat. Most surgery will not have any major side effects and you should not need more than a few days to recover. However, some people may require several surgical procedures to stop or significantly reduce their snoring.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has produced guidelines for the treatment of snoring with soft-palate implants and with radiofrequency ablation. Go to the 'NICE guidance' page for more information.

view information about Snoring on www.nhs.co.uk »

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