Snoring is the deep, vibrating sound caused as air travels past loose muscle and soft tissues in the throat. In some instances, snoring is mild, but it can be alarming for others, especially their partners.
Roughly half of the U.S. population occasionally snores, with about a quarter being habitual snorers. Snoring can also indicate more severe health concerns such as obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, or substance abuse.
In this article, Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe will explain prevalent causes of snoring and offer insights into how to fix the issue.
Some people’s natural physiology makes them more susceptible to snoring. Specifically, a low-hanging, thick soft palate, which is the muscular part at the back of the roof of the mouth, plays a prominent role in determining whether someone will snore excessively. A low, collapsible soft palate restricts airflow at the top of the airway. The back of the tongue can also contribute to this obstruction and cause severe snoring.
Loose soft tissues around the back of your mouth and around your throat can constrict your airway. Since alcohol is a depressant, it relaxes your muscles, nerves, and tissue further than usual. When you drink to excess, your throat’s tissue can loosen to a point that constricts airflow, causing snoring.
A deviated septum and nasal congestion caused by allergies, polyps, or excessive mucus production can restrict the airway, forcing air through a narrower space and contributing to snoring. Nasal obstruction also causes mouth breathing, which further pushes the soft tissues of the throat to the back, causing obstruction.
Chronically sleep-deprived people such as insomniacs tend to fall into a more profound, relaxed sleep when they finally manage to drift off. This deeper state of sleep can lead to abnormal relaxation of the throat muscles, leading to snoring.
Sleeping on your back makes your airway particularly susceptible to gravity’s downward pull, which can help partially collapse it, thus restricting airflow and increasing the chance of snoring.
Snoring Treatments in Carmel Valley, CA
Depending on the reasons causing you to snore, numerous treatments are available to help give you and your partner a better night’s sleep.
These might include lifestyle changes – such as losing weight or consuming less alcohol – or could require operative intervention in the case of a deviated septum, enlarged tonsils or excessively long soft palate and uvula.
Whatever the reason for your snoring, Dr. Schalch Lepe has a solution. The best way to improve your sleep quality, mood, and energy levels affected by snoring is to call (858) 925-5800 or book your consultation online.