Knowing the Causes of Snoring Can Lead You to the Right Solution

This might seem strange. When you suffer from a malady, all you need is to take appropriate remedial measures and expect the problem to resolve. However, with snoring it is different. Why does one have to know the causes of snoring, to find the right remedy?

Getting to know the causes of snoring is important because: 

–          There are various factors responsible for snoring. While many of them are linked to the way you sleep, eat and drink, many are associated with anatomical and functional problems.

–          There is no universal remedy that addresses all the different causes.

–          Snoring solutions are cause-specific. For example, if the cause is being overweight, weight loss could be the best solution.

How to know the causes of snoring? 

These are usually revealed only with proper diagnosis and tests. Snorers are generally unaware of their snoring, and usually rely on the observations of those sharing the same bed or room. The following procedures are followed to identify the causes of snoring:

–          Physical examination and medical history. Often the bed partner helps out by answering questions related to night-time symptoms.

–          If the cause is linked to any anatomical defect, the doctor could recommend imaging tests like X-Ray, a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to view in inner structure of the airways.

–          Polysomnography. This is an overnight sleep study done to assess the severity of the condition. It is a multi-parametric study that records various events during sleep.

Why does snoring happen? 

Muscles directly responsible for breathing like those located in the throat, tongue, soft palate and uvula might become weak an flaccid. During sleep all the muscles of the body are relaxed, including these. Being weak, they may collapse and block the air passage causing breathing impedance. They may also vibrate due to air pressure exerted on them during breathing.The noise of this vibration is the sound of snoring.

What are prime facilitators of snoring? 

There are several factors that promote snoring. For instance, ageing is a reason why throat muscles become weak and tend to collapse.

Anatomical defects of the nose and throat like enlarged tonsils and adenoids, nasal polyps or even deviated septum (the central cartilage in the nasal cavity dividing the two nostrils) could lead to snoring. The anatomy of the mouth is also an important contributor. For example, having a low, thick soft palate or an elongated uvula can cause snoring.

Then there are functional abnormalities that become causes of snoring. For example when respiratory infections lead to inflammation of the nose and throat or nasal congestion from colds and allergies – the result is snoring.

Wrong sleeping position: Sleeping too much on the back may cause throat muscles to move backwards and block air flow.

Alcohol consumption has a profound impact on relaxing of muscles including breathing muscles. It reduces the body’s natural defenses against obstruction in the airways.

Obesity is clearly one of the biggest risk factors for snoring. Being overweight causes excess fat accumulation in the muscles of the neck and throat which block normal breathing and cause snoring.

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