Snoring

Definition

Snoring is a sound made during sleep. It is the sound of the throat vibrating as air flows through it.
Blocked Airway
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Causes

Air should be able to move easily through your mouth, nose, and throat. Sometimes, during sleep, air cannot move through these areas easily. This turbulent airflow makes the roof of the mouth vibrate. This is what causes the snoring sound. Smaller airways can lead to louder snoring. Airflow may be obstructed by:
  • Weak muscles in the tongue and throat
  • Enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or other obstructions such as a tumors or cysts
  • Excessive tissue around the throat due to obesity
  • Structural factors:
    • A long, soft palate
    • A long uvula
    • Deformities of the nose or nasal septum
    • Small chin, overbite, or high palate
  • Congested nasal passages from a cold, flu, sinus infection, or allergies

Risk Factors

Being over 50 years old and male increase the risk of snoring. Other factors include:
  • Being overweight
  • Family history
  • Use of drugs (central nervous system depressants) or alcohol that act as respiratory depressants
  • Lying on back while sleeping
  • Nasal obstruction (due to a cold, sinus infection, allergy, enlarged adenoids, or injury that has displaced the nasal cartilage or bones)

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