Snoring & OSA

Misconceptions About Snoring You Need to Stop Believing

April 24, 2023
misconceptions about snoring you need to stop believing

Snoring is a common occurrence and happens to everyone from time to time. Caused by vibration of soft tissues as you inhale and exhale, it can range from a soft purr to a loud snort. Generally snoring is harmless and people tend to snore when their nasal passages are congested, or when their throat muscles relax due to alcohol or sedatives.

A certain percentage of the population snore chronically, and this can be an indication of a more serious underlying condition. Loud, constant snoring can be disruptive to others, and people may try to find various ways to minimise snoring. However, this has sometimes led to misconceptions arising.

As snoring can be a symptom of a sleep disorder, it is important to address these misconceptions to ensure that individuals are well-informed and seek appropriate snoring treatment in Singapore. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about snoring that you need to be aware of.


1. Snoring is Normal


Although snoring is common, it is not normal. If you snore once in a while, it likely does not have a noticeable impact on your life. However if you’re a chronic snorer, it could be due to congenital issues such as having a narrow airway or structural defects like a deviated septum. It can also be caused by obesity, as excess neck fat can cause a compression of your airway while you sleep. Finally, snoring can also be an indication of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a disorder where your breathing starts and stops multiple times at night. This can create a drop in blood oxygen which has dangerous long-term implications. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Therefore, if you snore regularly and loudly, or if you gasp or choke during sleep, you should see a doctor to rule out sleep apnea in Singapore.

Girl sleeping-sleep specialist singapore



2. Sleeping on Your Back Helps to Prevent Snoring


Contrary to popular belief, sleeping on your back can actually worsen snoring. When you sleep on your back, gravity causes the muscles in the soft palate of your mouth and throat to close slightly, resulting in snoring. 

The consensus is that sleeping on your side is the best position to prevent snoring. Side sleeping reduces compression of your airways which can help you breathe better through the night.

Changing sleeping positions can be a challenging task if you’ve been habituated to a certain position. Some tips to help would include using a body pillow to stop you from rolling on your back while you sleep, or even taping tennis balls to your back. 

Learn More: 5 Signs You Need to Have a Sleep Study Performed


3. Only Older People Snore


Snoring is not limited to older people. People of any age, even kids, can snore. Snoring can have varied causes, and children with enlarged tonsils or adenoids which obstruct their airway can also be prone to snoring. In these cases, the best course of action is to consult with a paediatrician or a sleep specialist in Singapore to evaluate their condition accurately.

standing in weighing scale-sleep specialist singapore


4. Only Overweight People Snore Or Are At Risk Of Sleep Apnea


Obesity and sleep apnea are strongly correlated, which may result in the misconception that only overweight snore or are at risk of developing sleep apnea. However there’s more to this than meets the eye. 

Being overweight can lead to obstructive sleep apnea as fat deposits around your neck area can result in pressure on your upper airways and making it harder to breathe at night. While this is one of the major causes of sleep apnea, even individuals who are of normal weight and do not have fat deposits around their neck can develop sleep apnea.

In these cases, the underlying reason for the snoring or sleep apnea is more likely due to structural abnormalities. These abnormalities can include nasal obstructions (in the form of deviated nasal septums, nasal polyps, or inferior turbinate hypertrophy), enlarged tonsils or adenoids, small chins, and bulky tongue bases.

Most of the time snoring is not a cause for alarm or concern. Temporary changes in diet, lifestyle, medications, or certain diseases can all lead to the occasional night of snoring. If you are a chronic snorer, you might need a thorough medical assessment or a session at a sleep clinic in Singapore to identify the root cause of your snoring. 

While there are certain myths around snoring, not all of them are true and you should always do your own research or consult with a trained professional when in doubt.


Dr Gan Eng Cern is a fellowship trained ENT Surgeon with years of experience in the field. At his clinic he offers a wide range of treatment services for a number of conditions including snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Contact us today to get in touch with the team and set up an appointment.

    When Should You See an ENT Specialist in Singapore?

    • Any ear, nose or throat symptoms that you are troubled with or concerned about
    • Persistent blocked nose with mouth breathing or snoring

    Dr Gan Eng Cern

    Dr Gan Eng Cern is a distinguished ENT doctor with fellowship training. In addition to his clinical practice as an ear, nose and throat specialist in Singapore, Dr. Gan has contributed to the academic field as a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. He is recognised for his extensive research work, with numerous contributions to reputable international ENT journals. Dr Gan is also highly sought after as a speaker and has shared his surgical knowledge as a surgical dissection teacher at various prominent ENT conferences and courses.


    • 2020 – Reader’s Choice Gold Award for Best ENT Specialist (Expat Living Singapore)
    • 2016 – Best Educator Award (Eastern Health Alliance)
    • 2016 – “Wow” Award (Patient Compliment)
    • 2014 – Eastern Health Alliance Caring Award – Silver
    • 2014 – 19th Yahya Cohen Memorial Lectureship (awarded by the College of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine Singapore for best scientific surgical paper)
    • 2012 – Human Manpower Development Award (Ministry of Health, Singapore)
    • 2007 – Singhealth Best Doctor Award


    • MBBS – Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
    • MRCS (Edin) – Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    • MMed (ORL) – Master of Medicine in ENT (National University of Singapore)
    • FAMS – Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Singapore

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