Why do some people snore? Snoring is very common, and most of us will snore occasionally. For some people, however, it can be a regular or chronic occurrence and it has an array of causes. For some people, it is very medically significant.
The mechanism of snoring is similar for most people, but the specific reason why people snore does vary.
Snoring is the rattling, snorting sound some people make while breathing when they are asleep. It is not the same as the sound of deep breathing, and it can be very disruptive for not only the snorer but others in the same room or residence.
Many people are chronic snorers, especially as they get older, and the issue can cause, as well as be a direct result of, several serious medical conditions. Even teens and children, however, can suffer from snoring.
Why Do Some People Snore?
What Physically Causes Snoring? The anatomical root of snoring is quite simple and, regardless of the physiological cause, this is basically the same for most snorers.
The muscles and other tissues of the airways become floppy, poorly conditioned, or relax too much, and they become narrowed as a result of this. They may also collapse. This causes the flow of air during breathing to become obstructed.
Snoring may involve the tongue, soft palate, uvula, nasal passages and nasopharynx, and the upper and lower throat.
When the airways relax too much, they can become narrowed or even blocked. Breathing in causes the tissues to vibrate and make a guttural or rattling sound. For those most severely affected by snoring, they may choke and gasp for breath.
Who is More Affected by Snoring?
Several things cause people to habitually snore, and snoring affects some people much more than others. Snoring is a medical issue and it should be assessed by your doctor to understand the cause and implement solutions.
Some common factors impact the likelihood of snoring:
- Genetics – you are statistically more inclined to snore if your parent/s were snorers.
- Anatomy –including a deviated septum, sinus abnormalities, enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids, an enlarged tongue, an enlarged uvula, and more.
- Obesity – being obese or overweight directly impacts your likelihood of snoring due to several factors including certain lifestyle choices, lack of muscle tone and condition in the head and neck, and inadequate exercise.
- Neck Circumference – increased neck circumference due to higher fat content in the neck puts additional pressure on the tissues of the airways, enhancing their likelihood of becoming compromised.
- Sleeping Position – sleeping on your back dramatically increases the likelihood you’ll snore, as does sleeping with the head propped too far forward (like when falling asleep sitting up). Simply altering your sleeping position off your back may be sufficient to prevent snoring.
- Allergies – inflammation, irritation, or anything that causes a blocked nose leads to mouth breathing and snoring. Using antihistamines and nasal decongestants may help.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) –a serious medical condition, OSA must be properly diagnosed and treated by your doctor. It causes sleep disruption many times every night and you can even stop breathing altogether. Snoring is simply a symptom of this disorder. The most common treatment for OSA involves using a CPAP machine during sleep. If you or your sleep partner believes you may suffer from sleep apnoea, you must make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.
- Lifestyle Choices –lack of exercise, poor sleep hygiene, poor dietary choices, eating too much at night, alcohol consumption, dehydration, cigarette smoking, illicit drug use, sedative use, napping during the day, and other factors that can cause or worsen your snoring.
How Do People Snore?
There are distinctly different types of snoring:
- Nasal Snoring – when breathing through the nose, this happens due to narrowed nasal passages. It may be a result of allergies, upper respiratory infections, sinusitis, a deviated septum, or inflammation in the nasal passages from exposure to smoke (including cigarette smoking). Nasal snoring sounds like a grunt or a loud whistle. It can lead to headaches and halitosis (bad breath).
- Mouth Snoring – often happens when people have blocked nasal passages and compensate by breathing through their mouth. It may occur due to enlarged tonsils or a weak tissues soft palate. It only happens when sleeping with the mouth open.
- Tongue Snoring – happens when the tongue vibrates, due to relaxing too much or falling back into the airways while sleeping on the back. The tongue may also be enlarged. Tongue snoring is more common in people who drink alcohol, use sedatives, or have a larger neck circumference. It only occurs when sleeping on the back, and is characterized by inconsistent, high-pitched snoring sounds.
- Throat Snoring – this is the loudest type of snoring – and the most serious. It may signify obstructive sleep apnoea and, as such, requires medical assessment. This type of snoring happens in any sleep position and is caused by the soft tissues and muscles in the throat relaxing too much. They collapse and block the airway. Untreated, this type of snoring can cause high blood pressure and lead to conditions including type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart attack, obesity, mood disorders, and even some cancers.
ApneaRX Can help with Snoring
Discovering why you snore in the first place is important for addressing the problem and to enable you to make changes to alleviate (or eliminate) the issue.
ApneaRX is the NZ brand of a medically proven anti-snoring device to open the airways and enable smoother, snore-free breathing. Recommended by doctors, pharmacists, and sleep specialists throughout NZ and internationally, it is ideal for use by anyone over the age of eighteen years. With no negative side effects, it is comfortable to wear, and will not disrupt your sleep or the comfort of your sleeping partner.
Visit us to learn more about ApneaRX, read more about how it works here or call 0800 111 325.