Snoring is a typical sound produced by the pharyngeal structures during sleep. It occurs more often with men than women and increases with aging. On average, 40% of men and 20% of women snore. In 10% of the cases, snoring can cause severe breathing stops, with serious consequences.
It is interesting that most people seeking help come because their snoring annoys their spouses. While the upsetting noise cannot be ignored as a reason for treatment, patients should be aware primarily that snoring is affecting their health and quality of life.
For effective treatment we have to understand the dynamics of snoring.
The known causes of snoring are
- flaccid soft palate (ageing),
- impaired nasal breathing (several reasons),
- enlarged tonsils
- scars left after tonsillectomy
- taking sleeping pills and consuming alcohol before sleep (flaccid soft palate)
- sleeping on back
All these factors obstruct the airway and in turn generate
- Soft palate vibration (snoring sound),
- Disturbed sleep with daytime tiredness and sleepiness leading to headaches, irritability, and occupational and traffic accidents.
- Impaired breathing with breathing stops (apnea), cardiovascular diseases (increased blood pressure and stroke), and worsening of other existing diseases.