Updated: Sep 22, 2020
As far as symptoms go, snoring is pretty unique.
Unlike so many other symptoms of disease, snoring is very rarely seen as something problematic or dangerous. Even kids know that snoring is just a sound someone makes when they're sleeping and is, at worst, just a bit annyoing.
But snoring is not just an odd sound some people make while they sleep. It can actually be a symptom of very serious health conditions. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what snoring actually is, what causes it, and the steps you can take to stop.
What is snoring?
Medically speaking, snoring is the sound that occurs when air flowing through your throat while you sleep causes the soft tissue to vibrate as it passes. In the average, healthy adult, airflow in the throat does not cause the tissue to vibrate, since it just passes by without issue. If you snore, it usually means that the soft tissue is collapsing or being pressed down while you sleep. There are a number of causes for this.
What causes snoring?
One of the main, and most dangerous, causes of snoring is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is the collapse of the soft tissue of the throat during sleep, causing snoring and even cutting off airflow completely. OSA can be extremely disruptive to your sleep, and our current research suggests that it’s even linked to heart diseases and stroke.
As well as OSA, there are other lifestyle factors that can cause snoring in an individual. These include:
Additionally, biological factors such as having a narrow airway, or an abnormal nasal passage can also cause you to snore.
How can I stop snoring?
Since some causes of snoring are the result of lifestyle habits, changing these habits can help you to stop snoring. Exercising more, drinking less alcohol, and getting enough sleep to feel well rested are all good places to start.
However, if there are other factors that cause your snoring, it’s really worth seeking medical help. Especially if you think it could be OSA, or if you share your bed with a partner. Snoring can be very disruptive for bed partners, leading to a range of possible mental health problems.
It might not seem like a big deal, but it can quickly become one.
If you would like to discuss your snoring, or any other sleep problems with one of our sleep therapists, then please get in touch. We’re here to help.
Sleep Well - Live Well