To decide upon the best course of treatment, it is important to firstly understand the causes of snoring. Sometimes snoring could be the symptoms of an underlying disorder and sometimes the reason could well be innocuous. Either way the cause is important to evaluate if treatment is required or whether the snorer’s partner has to try and make the best of the situation. So, here are the most common causes of snoring.
We usually breathe through the mouth, but if there is an infection, allergy or other blockage in the nasal passage, this is not possible. It is when a person breathes through the mouth that the vibrations cause the noise of snoring to occur. Breathing through the mouth therefore causes the sound of snoring.
Infections and conditions such as enlarged tonsils can cause the airways to vibrate and cause snoring as well.
Structural abnormalities are among the causes of snoring. Enlarged adenoids, often seen in children, septal deviations or swelling of the tissues could result in snoring. Often, tension in the muscles could mean that the jaw is misaligned and this could also cause a person to snore. Sometimes the muscles of the throat may weaken, and this can cause them to close, causing vibration and hence snoring. The soft palate may be unusually long or floppy or the uvula at the back of the soft palate could be the culprit responsible for snoring.
One of the common causes of snoring is weight gain, when there is an increased amount of fat deposited on and around the throat. This can be the reason behind a snoring that is seen to coincide with weight gain.
Alcohol and drugs
Ingesting intoxicants such as alcohol and other substances and even certain medications can cause the throat muscles to relax and can be among the causes of snoring. It can be easy to determine if this is the case by the process of elimination to detect the cause effect relationship.
Sleeping on the back makes it more likely for a person to snore than if they are lying on their side. This is because the tongue is more likely to flop back into the back of the mount and cause vibrations in that sleeping position.
Obstructive sleep apnea
This is one of the most serious reasons for snoring characterized by interruptions in breathing and lowered blood oxygenation. This condition should be evaluated and treated on an urgent basis.