YOU'RE ON the verge of falling asleep, and then it starts. The snorting. The choking sounds. Sometimes there's even a little whistle to it. A family member or roommate sleeping nearby has launched into an all-night bout of snoring, and you're the one who is going to lie awake all night listening to it. If simple lifestyle changes and over-the-counter remedies can't control chronic snoring, more sophisticated surgical and nonsurgical treatments are another option.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 45% of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 25% are habitual snorers. Of the habitual snorers, about 10% have obstructive sleep apnea, a serious medical problem in which people stop breathing completely, multiple times per night, for at least 10 seconds at a time. Apnea raises the risk for dangerous daytime drowsiness and a range of ills, including elevated blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.