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Snoring - Symptoms

Snoring - How to prevent?

Snoring - Causes and Risk Factors

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring is caused by the vibration of tissues lining the upper air passages. Snoring in most people is due to multiple factors, each playing some part in the snoring process.

Relaxation of muscles causes the walls of the upper airway to fall together and narrow, causing them to vibrate. The tongue may fall back into the throat when sleeping on the back and contribute to snoring.

Nasal blockages due to conditions such as nasal allergies or deformities of the nasal septum (the cartilage partition between the two sides of the nose) can cause poor nasal airflow and mouth breathing, making the situation worse.

A deviated nasal septum, turbinate hypertrophy, large adenoids and tonsils, nasal polyps, long soft palate and a bulky tongue can narrow the airway.

What are the Risk Factors of Snoring?

Other factors which can influence the snoring condition are:

  • Genetics
    Genetic predisposition leading to facial and jaw abnormalities are known predisposing risk factors.
  • Obesity
    Obesity can contribute to snoring. Excessive fat accumulation in the upper airway can amplify an existing anatomic narrowing that was causing mild obstruction previously.
  • Ageing and associated loss of general muscle tone
  • Gender
    Males are more likely to snore.
  • Congestion of the throat due to reflux of stomach acid (heartburn)
  • Medications / alcohol
    Mild or intermittent snoring may be a result of medications (like sedatives to help you sleep) or alcohol that induces relaxation of the upper airway muscles.
  • Smoking

Snoring - Preparing for surgery

Snoring - Post-surgery care