Do you snore? If so, you are not the only one. In a study performed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, 45% of all people snore. So, with that being said, is snoring just an annoying sound, or is it more?
In short, snoring is a sound that occurs when your airways are constricted while you sleep. When this happens, air causes the soft tissue in your throat to vibrate. Typically, people who are overweight, and males, are most commonly affected by snoring. Snoring can occur in children, but is often a sign of health issues with the adenoids or tonsils. An adenoidectomy or tonsillectomy will correct this issue, and relieve the patient of snoring.
Usually, snoring is not a sign of something serious. For example, if you are overweight, you might relieve your snoring simply by losing some weight and opening up your airways. However, if you are a habitual snorer, it could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is believed that half of all snorers actually suffer from OSA.
Other causes of snoring include:
- Inadequate muscle in your tongue and throat
- Oversized tonsils or adenoids
- A build up of fat in your throat
- Cysts or tumors that cause your airway to narrow
- Blocked nasal passages
If you do snore on a regular basis, you should undergo a sleep study in order to properly diagnose your case. If you suffer from OSA, you may wake up not feeling well rested, and your risk of developing more serious health problems will increase.
Diseases associated with OSA include:
In our next blog post, Dr. Lechner will take a deeper look at OSA and also look at another form of sleep apnea: Central Sleep Apnea.
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