While you are sleeping, the muscles in your throat that keep the airway open relax and decrease the diameter of the opening. This causes the surrounding structures to vibrate and snoring occurs.
Factors that can contribute to the shrinking of the airway
- Larger than normal tonsils
- An abnormally long soft palate
- Excessive fatty tissue in overweight patients
- A recessed lower jaw
- A large tongue that is placed too far back, which can cause the airway to shrink even more if the patient sleeps on his or her back
Snoring is an often benign condition that inconveniences the snorer’s sleeping partner more than anyone else. However, it can also be symptomatic of a much more serious condition: obstructive sleep apnea, a medical condition that affects 2% of women and 4% of men between the ages of 30 and 60. Diagnosis must be made by a specialist, usually a pneumologist specializing in sleep disorders.
Is your snoring a problem? Consult us. Our team will give you the appropriate information and refer you to a specialist if needed.