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Snoring: One of the Causes of Bad Sleep

Many chronic snorers know only the symptoms of this annoying sleep disturbance; they are completely unfamiliar with the causes of snoring. However, as with most medical conditions, knowledge can be one of your biggest allies. If you are familiar with and understand the causes of snoring, you will better understand which over-the-counter or dental products may help your situation and which will probably only be a waste of money. Additionally, if neither of these approaches helps, understanding the causes of snoring may help you to decide whether surgery is the best option for you.

Please keep in mind, however, that, while we do our best to present you with helpful and correct information, we are not medical doctors. Information from this or any other website should never be substituted for the advice of a qualified professional.

Three Main Causes of Snoring

In general, snoring is caused by the relaxation of throat and tongue muscles and the narrowing of the airway when an individual sleeps. As air passes through this narrower airway, it moves faster than normal, causing the tissues to vibrate against each other, creating a snoring sound. Therefore, the three main causes of snoring are as follows: (1) larger soft tissue size, (2) increased relaxation of the soft tissues, and (3) increased resistance in the airway.

While the causes of snoring may seem relatively simple, the symptoms are frequently difficult to control. Moreover, snorers and their spouses often find it nearly impossible to tolerate the noise night after night, especially if the snorer is very loud. While rare, snoring can reach nearly intolerable loudness. For example, a jackhammer is 85 decibels, a lawnmower is 95, and an airplane is 118. The loudest snoring ever recorded registered at 87 decibels, which is louder than the jackhammer!

Additionally, snoring is not simply a loud and annoying condition; it can actually be very dangerous, or even fatal! For example, it is estimated that 38,000 people die each year in the United States from sleep apnea, a condition which frequently results in snoring. Plus, because sleep is so disrupted by snoring, snorers and their spouses have a high incidence of traffic and work accidents due to fatigue. Depression can also result from snoring, especially if the condition causes marital discord.

If you are a chronic snorer who has received no relief from medical intervention, you might want to consider joining a support group. Support Path has groups for both sleep apnea and sleep disorders. Good luck!

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