The Top 4 Causes of Snoring

The Top 4 Causes of Snoring

Do you snore? If you’re a snorer, you’re not alone. Snoring is one of the most common sleep problems in America, and it can affect people of all ages. Snoring is not a normal part of sleeping, and it can have serious consequences for your health. In this blog post, we will discuss the four most common causes of snoring and how to fix them. Stay tuned for more information!

What is Snoring?

open vs. obstructed airway and how it causes snoring

Snoring is the sound that occurs when air flow is blocked while you are sleeping. When you snore, your throat and mouth tissues vibrate, which creates the noise. Snoring can be a nuisance for both you and your bed partner, and it can also lead to serious health problems. These can include:

  • sleep deprivation for you and your partner
  • daytime fatigue
  • increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure
  • increased risk of accidents (due to drowsiness)

What Causes Snoring?

Now that we’ve defined snoring and discussed some of the consequences, let’s take a look at the four most common causes of snoring.

Large Tonsils:

Your tonsils are the two lymph nodes located at the back of your throat. They help to filter bacteria and viruses from the air you breathe. However, if your tonsils are large, they can block your airway and cause snoring. Enlarged tonsils can also cause sleep apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder.

In cases where your snoring is due to enlarged tonsils, your doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy. This is a surgical procedure to remove your tonsils. By having your tonsils removed, you may be able to alleviate your snoring.

normal vs. deviated nasal septum

Nasal Problems:

Another common cause of snoring is nasal problems. These can include a deviated septum, which is when the wall that separates your nostrils is off center, or nasal polyps, which are non-cancerous growths in the lining of your nose. Nasal problems can block air flow and cause snoring.

If your snoring is due to nasal problems, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to correct the problem. In cases of a deviated septum, a Septoplasty can be performed. This is a surgical procedure to straighten the wall that separates your nostrils. For nasal polyps, a polypectomy can be performed. This is a surgical procedure to remove the nasal polyps.

Problems with Throat Tissue:

Another common cause of snoring is problems with the throat tissue. This can include things like a soft palate, a long uvula, or excessively loose tissue around the throat. When these tissues are relaxed, they can vibrate and cause snoring.

If your snoring is due to problems with throat tissue, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes. These can include losing weight, avoiding alcohol before bed, and sleeping on your side. In some cases, you may also need surgery to remove the excess tissue. In these cases, a Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, which is a surgical procedure to tighten flabby tissues in the throat and palate to expand air passages, is usually performed.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

sleep apnea vs. normal airway

The final common cause of snoring is obstructive sleep apnea. This is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when your throat muscles relax and block your airway. When this happens, you may stop breathing for a short period of time. This can cause snoring and also lead to serious health problems.

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes and/or a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The CPAP machine is a device that delivers air pressure through a mask to keep your airway open. In some cases, you may also need surgery to remove excess tissue or to widen your airway.

In Conclusion

In this blog post, we’ve discussed the four most common causes of snoring. These include: large tonsils, problems with throat tissue, nasal problems, and obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is a common problem that can have serious consequences. If you snore, it is important to talk to your doctor so that the cause can be determined and treated. By treating the underlying cause of your snoring, you can improve your sleep and overall health.

Lee A. Kleiman

Dr. Lee A. Kleiman is a double board certified ENT & plastic surgeon at Anne Arundel ENT in Annapolis, Maryland known for his superior clinical outcomes in all Surgical and Non-Surgical ENT, specializing in Sinus Care, Voice and Swallowing, Rhinoplasty and Revision Rhinoplasty, and Facelifts and Non-surgical Aesthetic. He also continues to attend conferences internationally and nationally to keep abreast of the latest treatments and technology.