In adults, snoring is a breathing disorder and is caused by turbulence of air flow through a narrowing in the nose or throat. An estimated 45 percent of the population snore at least occasionally; and snoring is often no greater a problem than the noise itself. However, snoring may exist as a spectrum of sleep disordered breathing and be a sign of sleep apnoea which can be mild, moderate or severe. In severe cases it may have serious implications, particularly if it causes significant reduction of oxygen levels during sleep or worsens the severity heart disease.
Snoring can commonly be associated with other problems such as a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates and tonsils. Chronic rhinosinusitis can also worsen snoring. There are a variety of treatments available for snoring and sleep apnoea, depending on the severity, including the use of Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP), mandibular splints, or surgery. Sleep apnoea is managed using a multidisciplinary method in collaboration with sleep physicians.