Snoring may be happening involuntarily but for somebody sharing the bed with the person who is snoring, it can be a harrowing experience altogether. In some instances, it has even lead to the filing of divorce papers by the long suffering spouse.
So, how does snoring happen? In other words, what are the causes of snoring?
Snoring is as a result of the obstruction of air flow – both inhale and exhaust – that happens in the part of air passage, where the back of the throat and tongue meets with the soft palate and uvula. The basic cause of the obstruction is the poorly toned or weakened muscles of throat and tongue, which when in a relaxed state may sway into the airway, blocking the free passage of air during every breath.
The weakening of muscles can happen due to a variety of reasons, a few of which are:
- Obesity. The fat deposits around the neck and throat of obese people may exert some amount of pressure on the airway, especially while the person is lying down, eventually blocking the free air flow in and out, leading to snoring.
- Alcohol or medications like sleeping pills and anti-histamines causes the muscles in the throat to relax, causing it to block the airway while sleeping.
- Smoking and sinusitis can also cause snoring, again due to the very same basic reasons.
- Snoring is also found to have a genetic trait, in which case treatments can be less effective.
- The size of the pillow is another factor that could induce snoring. That is, if the pillow size is larger, it increases the angle of the neck, sometimes to the extent of obstructing the air passage, especially while lying on the back.
- Like in the case of sinusitis, certain allergies can cause congestion in the nose and the airway, leading to high decibel snoring. This effect is more apparent when the person already has the habit of snoring.
- * To a certain extent, the diet a person follows may also exert a substantial influence on snoring. In this case, the blockage of air passage is caused due to the excessive production of mucus, courtesy fatty food items such as milk and milk products.
To conclude, snoring may appear to be a non-issue, especially if the spouse of the person concerned is very adjusting and cooperative. Of course, one must be prudent enough to realize that snoring is not that simple a problem, and it can possibly lead to other complications such as heart attacks and strokes if left untreated. Hence, on a safer side, consider undergoing a medical checkup if anyone of you is having the habit of snoring in slumber. After all, we all believe that health is wealth, don't we?