Snoring is the sound produced during sleep by the vibration of the walls of the upper airways. This vibration of the walls is created due to the difficulty of the air passing through a narrow airway. So the impression that a lot of people have that snoring is normal, is not right. Snoring is the first indication that there is a narrow airway. When snoring becomes intense and common, then the person should seek help from a specialist in sleep disorders, because there is a high probability that this snoring is accompanied by a disorder called “obstructive sleep apnea” that can cause serious health problems. More details about sleep apnea can be found here.
What could be the cause of the narrowing of the upper airways that causes snoring?
The narrowing of the upper airways caused by snoring may be due to:
a) Greater than normal relaxation of the muscles of the pharynx during sleep. Muscle relaxation during sleep is a normal condition, which occurs in all people. In some people, however, this relaxation is excessive, causing the airway to narrow and the air not passing freely downwards.
b) Increased fat deposition in the pharynx, especially in obese individuals.
c) Larger tongue size than normal.
d) Hypogonadism (smaller mandible- jaw than normal).
e) Enlarged tonsils and a large grape.
f) Nasal septum scoliosis and hypertrophic conchae.
Other factors that aggravate snoring are alcohol, the use of sedatives and sleeping medications, and smoking.