Snoring is a result of an obstruction or blockage to the flow
of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose.
When the tongue and soft palate meet, vibration occurs causing
snoring. People who snore may suffer from:
muscle tone: Alcohol and drugs can relax muscles in the tongue
and throat. This can also happen during deep sleep.
of the throat tissue: Children with large tonsils and adenoids
often snore as well as overweight people.
soft palate and/or uvula: A long palate and uvula narrows
the opening from the nose into the throat resulting in snoring
during relaxed breathing
nasal airways: A stuffy or blocked nasal airway requires extra
effort to breathe through it and snoring results
Deformities of the nose or nasal septum can create an obstruction
in the nasal airway.
Apnea: This is a serious condition in which your
throat tissues obstruct your airway, preventing you from breathing.
It is characterized by loud snoring followed by periods of
silence. These episodes cause you to wake up. This forces
your airway to open causing a loud snort or gasp. This pattern
is repeated many times throughout the night.
Yes. Besides causing the snorer and bed partner many sleepless
nights, it disturbs sleep patterns depriving the snorer (and
bed partner!) of the appropriate rest. If the snoring is a
manifestation of sleep apnea, it can cause serious, long-term
loud snoring be cured?
Individuals with heavy loud snoring should be evaluated by
their physician. Often times a referral to a sleep specialist
is necessary to rule out sleep apnea. The sleep specialist
will take a medical history and perform a physical examination.
An overnight sleep study (polysomnography) may be ordered
to determine how serious the snoring is. Results of the study
will be interpreted by the sleep physician and shared with
the patient. Treatment will be determined based on the results
of the study.