Posted on Friday, November 15th, 2019 at 6:27 pm    

Although snoring is widely accepted and is often made light of in our society, it can often point to more serious health concerns. Snoring can be an indicator of sleep apnea, which is a condition that is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. For some people, these pauses can last up to a minute — or more. This sleep condition is more prevalent in those who are overweight, and tends to worsen with age.

While some occasional, light snoring isn’t considered to be a significant issue, persistent, heavy snoring can impede sleep quality. In severe cases, it can be beneficial to seek medical advice to ensure a good night of restful sleep.

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring is mainly caused by a physical obstruction of airflow through the nose and mouth. There are several different ways that airflow can be obstructed, including:

  • Blocked Nasal Passages: Snoring is common for those who are suffering from seasonal colds or sinus infections. Additionally, deviated septums and internal nasal growths may be the culprit.
  • Weak Throat and Tongue Muscles: Your mouth and throat are filled with muscles that help you chew, swallow, and digest food. If these muscles are weakened, they can collapse and fall back into your airway. Weakened throat and tongue muscles can be caused by alcohol or medication. These muscles also naturally weaken with age.
  • Bulky Throat Tissue: Those who are overweight, have large tonsils, or bulky nasal tissue, are more likely to snore while sleeping.
  • Oversized Uvula and Soft Palate: Your uvula and palate are soft tissues that, when oversized, can obstruct your airway passages while you sleep. As air travels through, these soft tissues can vibrate and come into contact with one another — causing you to snore.

Health Concerns and Risks

Snoring can be an indicator of more severe health issues, such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can lead to several problems, such as:

  • Prolonged interruptions in breathing
  • Waking up frequently during the night
  • Light sleep
  • Heavier strain on the heart
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Enlargement of the heart
  • Increased risk for heart attack
  • Increased risk for stroke
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased risk for car accidents
  • Impeded quality of life

When You Should Seek Help For Snoring

If you notice that heavy, persistent snoring is disrupting your quality of sleep, it may be beneficial to talk about treatment options with a trained sleep specialist like Dr. Brown and the team at Silent Night Therapy. Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, and we’ll be here to find the solution that will help you get it. Schedule your complimentary consultation with us by calling (631) 983-2463 or by filling out a contact form today.