What is snoring?
Snoring is a sign of partial (incomplete) airway obstruction. In the contrary, the term apnea is used for full airway obstruction, of a minimum duration of 10 seconds. The most frequent reasons that a person presents snoring are:
1. Reduced muscle tone.
During sleep, all of our muscles are more relaxed. Additionally, some people have a predisposition to have overrelaxed their throat muscles especially during sleep. So usually at the level of throat, below the tongue, there is a partial obstruction leading to snoring. Conversely, when we are awake because our muscles have a greater tone, snoring does not occur unless we follow asleep.
2. Extra soft tissue in the airways.
This is a very common cause in children who have hypertrophic tonsils and adenoids. In adults we more frequently observe deposition of fat tissue around the throat tissues. Moreover, diseases such as acromegaly accompanied by large tongue can result in airway obstruction and snoring. Hypothyroidism, especially with a big volume of thyroid tissue, can be a cause of snoring too.
3. Micrognathia and retrognathia.
Some people are born with this characteristic abnormality. Thus the tongue of the person tends to occlude the airway during sleep and the individual displays snoring.
4. Large size of the uvula
In this case the uvula with the tongue cause obstruction during sleep and eventually snoring.
5. Obstruction of the nose (nasal septum, sinusitis, nasal polyps)
In this situation air flow is accelerated due to narrow nose so the soft tissues in the throat tend to vibrate and be prone to clogging. Furthermore, the person is forced to breathe through the mouth, which results in a disadvantageous placement of the tongue, with snoring been observed as a result.