Snoring Explained


Snoring is a common problem that affects many people in Newport Beach, California. Snoring occurs when the tissues of the airways vibrate as you breathe when you are asleep. Most times, snoring is harmless, but sometimes it can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition that requires treatment. Snoring also has social problems because it can disrupt your partner or other people when they are trying to sleep.

Most times snoring is associated with another sleeping disorder that is called sleep apnea. Symptoms of sleep apnea include periods of not breathing when you are sleeping, gasping, or choking as you sleep, chest pain, hypertension, and sore throat in the morning.  In Newport Beach, otolaryngology specialists can provide treatment of these symptoms to prevent serious complications that may occur. Treatment also improves your concentration and performance during the daytime.

What Causes Snoring?

1.      The Anatomical Structure of Your Oral Cavity

Some of the anatomical conditions that cause snoring include having a thick, soft palate that is located lower than normal. Such a soft palate can obstruct your airways, causing an environment that limits the passage of air through the airways. This means that air has to pass forcefully which causes the vibration that occurs in snoring.

Other anatomical structures that cause snoring include having a large uvula and large adenoid and tonsils that obstruct the airways. If you have a deviated nasal septum, which is the wall that divides the two nostrils, you are at risk of snoring because this condition obstructs normal breathing.

2.      Genetic Makeup

If you have a genetic predisposition to snoring or sleep apnea, where you have a first degree relative with these conditions, you are at a higher risk of developing a snore at some point in your life. Snoring is more common in men than in women. If you have a family history of obesity, you are also at risk of developing a snoring problem. This is because there is extra fat around the neck and throat in obese people, which narrows the air passages.

3.      Your lifestyle

Your lifestyle choices also play a part in snoring. One lifestyle choice that increases the chances of snoring is excess consumption of alcohol. Alcohol causes snoring by the relaxation of the muscles in your throat. This narrows the airways causing air to pass with a lot of force. Also, if you eat an unhealthy diet with minimal physical activity, you may become overweight and this puts you at risk of snoring.

Sleeping on our back causes the narrowing of your throat and narrows your airways by gravity. Lack of enough sleep also causes muscle relaxation in your throat, increasing the risk of snoring. The complications of snoring include being drowsy and fatigued the next day. This affects your performance in school and at work, as well as increasing the risk of traffic accidents if you drive when you are drowsy. You are also at risk of anger issues, heart conditions like hypertension, and stroke because of sleep apnea.

In summary, snoring is a common sleeping problem that occurs when the passage of air is restricted by the narrowing of the airways which occurs when the muscles of the throat relax excessively. Other conditions that cause snoring include obesity, having a family history of snoring, and having large uvula, adenoids, and tonsils. If snoring is affecting your normal sleeping with symptoms of sleep apnea like gasping, it is important to seek medical attention to prevent serious complications.

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