Snoring is an issue that many people face in their lifetime. It affects approximately 90 million
American adults, of which 37 million people experience the condition on a regular basis.
However, snoring is a condition that is more common among men and occur frequently in people
who are overweight, and the condition generally tends to worsen with age. Snoring occasionally
is not a very serious concern, although it may be a nuisance to your partners sleep. However, if
you experience snoring more frequently and as a habit, it disturbs the sleep patterns of your
partner as well as affecting your own sleep, which can have very severe consequences down the
road. In such cases, medical assistance should be sought to prevent serious conditions and
difficulties that may arise from your snoring habits.
Snoring can be bad for you and is caused by the physical obstruction of airflow through the mouth and the nose. Various
factors can contribute to such obstructions, which results in the snoring sounds. One such
method is the obstruction of airways due to deformities in the nose and the part of the wall that
separates the nostrils from each other. This is often seen in individuals who suffer from various
allergies, and especially during allergy season. Another method that the nasal airways become
obstructed is due to nasal polyps. Snoring can also occur in individuals who have poor muscle
tone in the throat and the tongue. This can cause the tongue and throat muscles to collapse into
the airway, resulting in an obstruction of airflow.
The muscle tone in these areas can become
poor due to a number of reasons such as consumption of alcohol, aging, various medications such
as aging and also during deep sleep. Symptoms are also very common among overweight and
obese individuals. This is because being overweight can cause the throat tissues to bulk up,
blocking the airways. Another cause for snoring is an elongated uvula, which is the dangling tissue
at the back of your throat.
This, along with a long soft palate can come in contact with each other,
causing snoring. Smoking and consumption of alcohol can also lead to snoring. Alcohol and
smoking can cause the muscles to relax around the throat. This can be cause by some medications
as well. When the muscles relax, the flesh of the throat can obstruct the airflow resulting in
snoring. The nasal passage and the throat muscles becomes irritated during snoring. This causes
inflammations in these areas which obstructs the airflow even more. Sleeping posture also plays
a major role in snoring. If you are sleeping on your back, the tissues can fall back due to gravity.
This can cause partial or complete restriction of the airways. It is best to sleep on your side to
Even though occasional snoring does not pose any significant health risks, if you hear negative complaints
from your family members or spouse that you are disturbing their sleep through snoring, it is an
indicator that you may be suffering from habitual snoring. Habitual snoring can put you at risk of
severe health issues and disease. Chances are that you should be considering medical help to
improve your condition, in order to avoid possible health risks down the line. If you are snoring a
lot during sleep, and snore very often, you may face various sleep disorders, including obstructive
Sleep apnea can result in various issues on its own, such as long interruptions of
breathing which extends to more than ten seconds. This occurs during sleep from obstructions
in the airway. You will wake up several times during your sleep without realizing it. This causes
your sleep patterns to change for the worse, and you will are not likely to get the sleep you need.
This will significantly reduce the quality of your sleep. The body will not enter deep sleep since it
can cause the muscles to relax, making obstructions in the airflow. This causes light sleeping,
which also degrades the quality of your sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause strains on the
heart and result in elevated blood pressure. This increases the chances of stroke and heart
disease. The condition can also reduce the levels of oxygen in the blood, since you will not
breathe for extended periods of time. As a result, you will feel drowsy, your blood vesselsin lungs
will become constricted and it can eventually lead to pulmonary hypertension.
The most dangerous outcome of snoring is the damage it causes to your sleep, as well as the
sleep of others who sleep next to you. Even though it may not feel significant, reduced quality of
sleep for extended periods of time can have severe consequences on your life. Insomnia can lead
to excessive fatigue during the day, causing reduced productivity and lack of concentration. This
can increase the risks of injuries and accidents at work, falling asleep while driving and snoring
can even cause difficulties in managing your daily life and relationships. Lack of sleep can also
cause severe headaches. All these add up to lost productivity and difficulties in managing your
daily tasks, while also putting you at the risk of accidents.
There are easy remedies to overcome snoring such as changing your posture during sleep and
reducing your alcohol consumption levels. There are additional solutions to snoring such as
therapy, Continuous positive airway pressure therapy and mandibular advancement splints.
Mandibular advancement splints devices are worn in the mouth to treat conditions such as
obstructive sleep apnea and snoring, and offer an alternative form of treatment to therapy. You
should also pay close attention to your weight, as obesity and overweight can significantly
increase the chances of snoring. If you are suffering from snoring or your family members and
those that are close to you indicate to you that you snore frequently, talking to your doctor or a
sleep specialist is extremely important. Seeking treatment early can help you maintain the quality
of life you need while also helping others who are close to you sleep better as well.
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In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2018 Jan-. Available from: