Why Do People Snore?

Understanding Snoring

Before considering a snoring cure, it is essential to understand what exactly causes snoring. Once you understand the causes of the snore, you can begin seeking a snoring remedy that really works.

While many believe that snoring originates in the nasal passages, this is not necessarily true. Indeed, the sound that characterizes snoring is caused by the vibration of any one of the tissues lining the airway.

When sleeping, the air that a non-snorer breathes passes through the nose or mouth into the lungs without interruption. The airway is clear and open and no sound beyond the normal passage of air occurs. But, sometimes there is some kind of blockage that prevents the air from passing through the nose and throat. This causes an uneven flow of air that makes the tissue surrounding that area vibrate, making the sound that we all know as a snore.

There are many different things that cause this blockage of the airway. In order to find a cure for a snoring problem, it is essential to understand exactly which one is causing the blockage. Then by clearing the blockage, air can pass unobstructed into the lungs and the snoring sound disappears.

The first area in which air can be blocked is in the nasal passage. There are many ways in which the airflow can be restricted in the nose. If a person has allergies or a cold, mucous builds up in the nasal passages, restricting the flow of air. Removing this mucous through decongestants can clear the airway, preventing the surrounding tissue from vibrating, thus preventing the snore. Other treatment options include nasal strips, such as Breath Right Nasal Strips, that open the airway externally, allowing the smooth passage of air through the nose.

Sometimes there is a structural abnormality in the nose such as a deviated septum. The septum is the cartilage that separates the two halves of the nose. Abnormalities in its structure or position can cause vibrations that result in a snore. A deviated septum can be hereditary, but more often it is the result of an injury such as a broken nose. Usually surgery can correct the structural problem, curing the snoring.

Not all snores originate in the nose. Often the snoring is caused by a blockage in the throat. One cause can be enlarged tonsils or adenoids, which are glands made up of lymphatic tissue used to counter infection. Unfortunately the tonsils and adenoids sometimes become overactive, or are simply too big to begin with. Removing them can greatly clear the airway, making it possible to sleep without snoring.

Another cause is excessive fatty tissue in the throat which blocks the passage of air, producing the vibration in the surrounding tissue that results in snoring. This can be simply the result of excess weight. There are surgical treatments available that are designed to cut away the excess fatty tissue in the throat either by scalpel or with a laser. Sometimes the cure for snoring is as simple as losing weight, thus reducing the excess fatty tissue as you lose fat throughout the body.

Structural abnormalities in the mouth can also lead to snoring problems. Some people have abnormally long soft palates, or enlarged uvulas (the little dangly bit at the back of the throat). This tissue tends to vibrate as air passes, causing a snoring sound. Other times a person may have a tongue that is not attached far enough forward, allowing it to fall back into the throat when the person relaxes in a deep sleep. Even something as simple as an overbite can contribute to snoring, allowing the tongue to fall into the throat as the jaw drops backward when relaxing into sleep.

Most structural abnormalities can be corrected through surgery. Other treatments include using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask to maintain the pressure in the mouth, or a mouthpiece such as VitalSleep, that maintains the position of the jaw so that the tongue is not likely to fall back during sleep.

If you have a problem with snoring it is important to discuss the issue with a doctor. The doctor will be able to assess your particular snoring problem and discover the cause of your snoring. Then, with your doctor’s help, you can find a cure for snoring that really works, and get a good night’s sleep again.


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