is a bothersome condition, but in some
cases it is also an indication of some
underlying health disorders and can
disrupt one’s family and personal
life. Forty five percent of normal adults
snore at least occasionally and 25 percent
of adults are habitual snorers. Many
people who snore regularly or occasionally
may not even be aware that they are
doing so. Snoring is an involuntary
nasal and throat reflex that does not
cause any serious health problems. However,
there are chances that the snoring may
progress to upper respiratory resistance
syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea,
a serious sleep disorder in which you
periodically stop breathing while you
Causes and Risk
experts, snoring is the result of blocked
or narrow air passages that impede normal
breathing. As you move from a light
sleep to a deep sleep, the muscles in
the roof of the mouth (soft palate),
tongue, and throat tend to relax. When
the throat muscles relax excessively,
the tongue falls back and obstructs
airways, which is a cause for noisy
breathing. Also, if the airway is too
narrow, the airflow becomes very forceful.
Narrow airways obstruct airflow in the
area where the tongue and roof of the
upper throat meet the soft palate and
uvula. The grumbling sound is caused
by the vibration of the soft palate
at the back of the throat while breathing.
Snoring becomes louder when there is
more tissue vibration. In some cases,
the tongue may also inhibit the way
of free airflow and cause snoring.
a number of other factors that may increase
an individual’s susceptibility
anyone can snore, adults are more
prone to snoring. Research shows
that the probability of snoring
increases with age, and particularly
after the middle age because our
throats become smaller as we grow
older. Snoring in children is often
due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids.
are more likely to snore because
they have narrower airways compared
with those of women.
nasal passages: Colds,
sinus infections, asthma, and allergic
reactions may block nasal airways.
A stuffy nose causes breathing to
be strenuous, which creates more
of a vacuum in the throat and results
in noisy inhaling.
overweight contributes to the narrowing
of the airway. Therefore, overweight
individuals have a greater risk
of snoring than others.
and alcoholism: Smoking
and alcohol consumption are known
to relax the throat and tongue muscles.
Smoking also leads to nasal congestion.
Therefore, smoking and alcohol consumption
are potential risk factors for snoring.
and pills: Certain
types of allergy tablets, such as
antihistamines and sleeping pills,
can also lead to snoring.
flat on your back is also a risk
factor because it relaxes throat
muscles and obstructs the airway.
airways may run in families from
generation to generation and increase
the susceptibility to snoring for
low, thick soft palate or enlarged
tonsils or tissues in the back of
the throat (adenoids) can narrow
the airway. Similarly, if the uvula
is elongated, airflow becomes blocked
and the vibration becomes augmented.
the case of sleeping disorders,
the throat tissues hinder the airway
and prevent an individual from breathing
through the nose. In such conditions,
loud snoring followed by periods
of silence, which can last for ten
seconds or more, is typically observed.
Finally, the lack of oxygen and
an increase in carbon dioxide forces
you to wake up and open your airway
with a loud snort or gasping sound.
This may happen several times throughout