Why do we snore? 7 most common reasons

Health Tips

There are many reasons for snoring. We will name seven main ones.

1. Overweight

Even with a mild degree of obesity, the risk of snoring increases by 8-12 times. Due to the accumulation of fatty deposits around the pharynx, its lumen decreases. During sleep, the muscles relax, the walls of the airways begin to converge. As a result, when breathing, the air with effort passes through the pharynx, which is partially blocked by soft tissues. Its walls begin to vibrate, creating the typical snoring sound. An increase in body weight by 1% from the initial one entails an increase in snoring by 3-4%. The reverse is also true: sometimes it is enough to lose 5-6% of weight to establish the silence of the night.

The more weight, the harder it is for air to pass through. Very obese people even experience pauses in breathing during sleep. This condition is called the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. This entails a whole range of health problems and requires systemic treatment under the supervision of a specialist.

2. Increased palatine tonsils

Hypertrophied tonsils significantly narrow the lumen of the pharynx. Sometimes they are enlarged so much that they touch each other – such tonsils are called “kissing”.

Currently, otorhinolaryngologists are wary of tonsillectomy. But if enlarged tonsils are the cause of moderate to severe sleep apnea, then this is an absolute indication for tonsillectomy.

3. Reduced thyroid function

With a reduced function of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), obesity and swelling of tissues (including the tongue, respiratory tract) develop. These causes provoke snoring and sleep apnea. Symptoms of hypothyroidism also include weakness, chilliness, cold extremities, hair loss, and brittle nails. If you notice this, contact your endocrinologist.

Features of the structure of the face

4. Small, receding lower jaw

Often people with an “adenoid face” suffer from snoring: a small and displaced back lower

jaw, elongated face, large “bird” nose. These anomalies develop with prolonged obstruction of nasal breathing in childhood and persist into adulthood.

If you snore because of this, then the situation can be corrected by special mouthguards that move the lower jaw forward. They are made individually by orthodontists. They are not worn constantly – only at night.

5. Nasal breathing disorders

A quarter of all patients with snoring and sleep apnea have problems with nasal breathing. Allergic rhinitis, deviated septum, nasal polyps – any reason that makes nasal breathing difficult during sleep significantly increases the risk of snoring.

Situationally, vasoconstrictor drops or sprays can be used to alleviate snoring. If you have a chronically stuffy nose, see an otolaryngologist.

Bad habits

6. Smoking

Chemical compounds of tobacco smoke cause swelling and inflammation of the nasopharyngeal mucosa, atrophy of the muscles of the palate. This leads to a narrowing of the lumen of the respiratory tract, the beating of the soft palate against the walls of the pharynx. The longer you smoke, the more likely you are to snore. Smokers are 10% more likely to snore than non-smokers.

To relieve snoring, it is advisable to stop smoking or not smoking two hours before bedtime. After the last cigarette smoked, it is advisable to gargle with vegetable oil.

7. Alcohol abuse

Under the influence of alcohol, the mobility of the walls of the pharynx increases and the sensitivity of the brain to oxygen starvation decreases. A person snores, and respiratory arrest may also appear or increase. If a person snored before drinking alcohol, then after taking it, the situation is always significantly aggravated. 200 g of vodka taken before bed doubles the severity of snoring or sleep apnea!

Sometimes it is difficult for the patient to guess why he snores. Moreover, one person may have not one, but two, three or more reasons for snoring at the same time! So if you want to get rid of this unpleasant phenomenon, you should start by contacting a somnologist and conducting an examination. Only then can a specific type of therapy be selected and applied.

Photo: shutterstock.com

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