When we breathe, air flows into our lungs through the mouth and nose. When this airway gets obstructed in our nose, mouth (oral cavity) or neck, air turbulence occurs leading to vibration of the tissues in the throat. This is what causes snoring. The tissues that move are where the upper part of the soft palate and uvula meet the tongue.
What causes snoring is narrowing of the airway and vibration of the soft palate and uvula. If you still have tonsils or adenoids, these can also vibrate from turbulent air flow and increase the sound of your snoring.
Some of the leading causes of snoring due a narrow airway include:
1) Weight gain which causes increased tissue mass around the neck and throat area
2) Congestion of the nasal passages from allergens and dust mites
3) A deviated nasal septum
4) Poor sleep positions which can lead to collapse of the tongue and soft palate
5) Alcohol consumption close to bedtime
6) Medications that can cause excess relaxation of the airway muscles such as muscle relaxants and medications for anxiety and depression.
Noises associated with snoring can range from soft and light to a thunderous roar. Snoring can often be associated with other serious problems such as:
1) Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
2) High Blood Pressure
3) Erectile Dysfunction
4) Extreme daytime tiredness
5) Low Sex Drive
6) Difficulty concentrating
It’s important to consult with your physician or dentist trained in sleep medicine to rule out the serious condition of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. OSA occurs when your tongue blocks your airway from 10-40 seconds. This can cause you to wake up several times during the night gasping for air. This obstruction leads to oxygen deprivation of the brain and stress to your cardiovascular system.
If you believe you have the snoring symptoms of this serious condition, immediately consult with a qualified health professional to determine what causes snoring for you . If you suffer from simple snoring without sleep apnea and are searching for some quick and easy ways on how to stop snoring, you can check out these snoring remedies.