What Causes Snoring?

Obesity, Pregnancy and Genetic Factors
Extra tissue in the throat can vibrate as you breathe in air in your sleep, causing you to snore. People who are overweight, obese or pregnant often have extra bulky throat tissue. Genetic factors that can cause snoring include extra throat tissue as well as enlarged tonsils, large adenoids, long soft palate or long uvula.

Allergies, Congestion and Certain Nasal Structures
Anything that prevents you from breathing through your nose can cause you to snore. This can include congestion from a cold or flu, allergies or deformities of the nose such as a deviated septum.

Alcohol, smoking, aging and certain drugs and medications, including muscle relaxants

You may snore when your throat or tongue muscles are relaxed. Substances that can relax these muscles may cause you to snore. This includes alcohol, muscle relaxants and other medications. Normal aging and the prolonged effects of smoking can also relax your throat and tongue muscles.

The primary symptom of snoring is unmistakable – the often loud, harsh or hoarse noises that you make while you are asleep. Other symptoms may include waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth.

If you have any of the following symptoms you may have sleep apnea :

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Choking or gasping while you sleep
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Moodiness, irritability or depression
  • Frequent need to urinate during the night


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