If snoring keeps you or your partner up all night, it may be time to investigate further. At its simplest definition, snoring is noisy breathing during sleep. However, the causes can be more complicated as many of our Manhattan snoring patients have learned. Examples include:
As you age, the throat muscles start to relax, which makes the walls of your throat vibrate or rattle while you sleep. Untreated snoring tends to worsen with age.
From your throat to your nose, any abnormalities in your airway can lead to snoring. This includes enlarged tonsils, cleft palate or adenoids at the back of your throat and a deviated septum or misalignment of the thin walls that divide your nasal passages. This makes one passage smaller than the other, which can affect your airway and lead to snoring. These changes are often genetic-related.
Smoking or drinking alcohol can cause the throat muscles to relax, leading to increased snoring. Taking certain medications can also increase throat relaxation. Always speak to your physician before discontinuing any medications, even if they are causing you to snore.
Sometimes snoring can be only temporary. This is true when it involves an illness, such as inflammation in your nose or throat that takes place when you are sick. Seasonal allergies or a respiratory infection can exacerbate the condition. When your symptoms resolve, your snoring typically goes away as well.
An estimated 50 percent of loud snoring is due to obstructive sleep apnea, according to the National Sleep Foundation. This condition occurs when your throat temporarily collapses during sleep. While it can be difficult to distinguish sleep apnea snoring from other snoring types, snoring related to sleep apnea typically disrupts sleep. You may wake up from sleep when snoring or experience extreme daytime sleepiness, even after a full night’s rest.
The way you sleep can also play a factor. This is especially true for those who sleep on their backs. The back sleeping position can cause the tongue to thrust and the throat to relax.
For more information on solutions to stop your snoring or to make an appointment, contact our Manhattan ENT office at (212) 288-2222.