Feb 13, 2008
Snoring - What Causes Snoring?
Snore occurs when there is some blockage in the air passage when we are asleep. It is the narrowing of our airway from a poor sleep posture or from an abnormality of our throat soft tissues. A narrow airway will hinder our normal smooth breathing and creates the "snore sound”. In most usual case, the “snore sound” was produced when we inhale air during our sleep. While in some case, “snore sound” can be produced when we are exhaling the air. As a result, there will be a two different frequency of snore sound we hear, one through inhaling air and the other though exhaling air.
The soft tissue in our upper palate or throat starts vibrating during out sleep, these vibrating will happen even if we are breathing through our nose within any blockage. For instant, when a person sleeps on his back, his tongue will slip back into the throat and cause the blockage of airway. In some case, the blockage can be also due to an allergic reaction or a wrong alignment of the jaws.
Snorers often have too much throat and nasal tissue that cause the vibrating. You can find snoring always happen in grandparents (elderly) as well as in our parents. It is the result from the relaxation of throat muscles during sleep. When you are younger, you will have a stronger muscle tone to control your throat muscle, but as you grow much older, your throat tissues will get much flabbier and easily have it relax during your sleep. Sometime overweigh do contribute to the “snore sound” with the extra fat tissue build in the neck and throat that obstruct airway.
We usually closed our mouth during sleeping where the inhalation and exhalation process takes place through our nasal passage. Snoring can also happen when we sleep with our mouth open. When we open our mouth during sleep, the air we breathe in sometimes causes the soft palate to vibrate and result with the “snore sound”. You can find from your bed partner’s or parents that the “snore sound” produced at a variable level. It depend on the intensity of the vibration of the soft palate, the sound level can vary from a gentle rhythmic sound to a loud rumbling noise that can be really annoying. Snoring can be mild, the “snore sound” stops when the snorer wakes up and turns over. While for a severe case, the snorer suffers from continual snoring, regardless of sleep position.
Everybody snores occasionally even a baby may snore. Studies show that at least 1/3 of the adult snores. Snoring can have deeper implications than you think. By getting to know the causes and cures for snoring, it can help to improve your sleep quality, to improve your health and your bed partner’s relationship.
Causes of Snoring within our Control
→ Smoking – Smoking or second hand smoking can cause the relaxation of throat muscles. It can also creates nasal and lung congestion.
→ Overweight – The excess fat tissue build in the neck and throat will obstruct airway. While a poor muscle tone and lax muscles will makes snoring more likely.
→ Sleep posture - Sleeping on his back, his tongue will slip back into the throat and cause the blockage of airway.
→ Alcohol - Alcohol can cause the relaxation of throat muscles which makes snoring more likely.
Causes of Snoring out of our Control
→ Middle age and Elderly - When you are younger, you will have a stronger muscle tone to control your throat muscle, but as you grow much older, your throat tissues will get much flabbier and easily have it relax during your sleep.
→ Heredity – If you inherit a narrow throat, it will reduce the size of air passages which can cause snoring easily.
→ Male Gender – Studies show that men have narrower air passages than women. So men are more likely to snore.
→ Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever) and Sinus – Due to the blockage in nasal airway from Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever) and Sinus make inhaling air difficult, which result in a vacuum in throat and noisy breathing.
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