5 Most Common Causes of Snoring
The Five Most Common Causes of Snoring
Snoring. Many of us do it, whether we know it or not. In fact, studies show that about 45 percent of all adults snore on occasion, and 25 percent snore habitually. Ever wonder why? There are a multitude of reasons why many of us “saw logs” in our sleep, and Central California Sleep Center in Fresno has put together a list of the five most common causes of snoring.
1. Mouth Anatomy
Many people snore as a result of their physical makeup. People with a long soft palate or uvula (the dangling tissue in the back of the mouth) or those with enlarged tonsils or tissue in the back of their throats are more likely to snore. As the muscles inside the mouth and throat relax, airflow is partially blocked, causing these structures to noisily vibrate against each other.
2. Nasal Problems
Congested nasal airways caused by a cold or allergies can also cause snoring. When the nasal passage is partially blocked, it restricts the passage of air during sleep. As the body works to get the air it needs, the soft tissues inside the mouth rub together, resulting in snoring.
3. Body Weight
Losing weight is always a good idea for your overall health, but dropping a few pounds can also reduce or eliminate snoring. Fat can build up around the throat,narrowing your airway during sleep, causing you to snore.
4. Alcohol Consumption
Drinking too much alcohol is another common cause of snoring. Alcohol relaxes your throat muscles during sleep, obstructing your airway. Prescription drugs such as sleeping pills can have the same effect.
5. Sleep Apnea
In most cases, occasional snoring is more of an annoyance to your partner than anything else. However, habitual snorers may have what is known as obstructive sleep apnea—a serious condition. Sleep apnea causes the throat tissues to completely block your airway, preventing you from breathing for 10 seconds or longer.
There’s More To It Then Just Snoring…
Sleep apnea is often characterized by extremely loud snoring followed by brief periods of silence due to an interruption in the breathing process. The silence is often followed by gasps or snorts as the person fights to take a breath. These disruptions in breathing cause the person to wake up periodically through the night. The next day, the person is extremely tired, exhibiting such signs as irritability, fatigue, lethargy, a reduced ability to concentrate, and morning headaches.
But obstructive sleep apnea doesn’t just rob you of your sleep. It can cause serious medical conditions as well. If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, thickening of the heart muscle (ventricular hypertrophy), and a potentially fatal irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). In fact, an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people per year die due to untreated obstructive sleep apnea.
Excessive snoring is not something to be taken lightly. If you believe you or a loved one may suffer from sleep apnea, please contact the Central California Sleep Center today.