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Snoring Causes & Risks

Causes

Snoring results when air cannot move freely through the air passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This causes vibration of the roof of the mouth and uvula (part of the soft palate), which creates the snoring sound. The smaller the airway, the more obstruction, and the louder the snoring. This airway obstruction can be caused by:

  • Decreased muscle tone in the tongue and throat
  • Enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or other obstructions (ie, tumors or cysts)
  • Excessive tissue around the throat due to obesity
  • Structural factors
    • A long soft palate (roof of the mouth)
    • A long uvula
    • Deformities of the nose or nasal septum
    • Small chin, overbite, or high palate (in women)
  • Congested nasal passages from a cold , flu , sinus infection , or allergies

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.

  • Sex: male
  • Being overweight
  • Age: Over 50
  • Family history
  • Use of drugs (central nervous system depressants) or alcohol that act as respiratory depressants
  • Lying on back while sleeping
  • Nasal obstruction (due to a cold, sinus infection, allergy, enlarged adenoids, or injury that has displaced the nasal cartilage or bones)

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2021 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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