An airway obstruction to the mouth and nose is what typically causes snoring. Snoring is a very common breathing condition and can affect almost anyone. The condition is known to be more frequent in men and is known to worsen with time.
What causes snoring?
The leading cause behind snoring is a physical obstruction to the passage of air through the patient's mouth and nose. Other causes include:
- Obstructed nasal airway: deviated septum, sinus infection, and other nasal deformities can lead to snoring.
- Weak muscles: Poorly toned muscles in the throat and tongue may can collapse and obstruct the airway.
- Long soft palate: This narrows the entry from the nose to the throat resulting in airway obstruction and snoring.
What are the risks associated with snoring?
One of the major health risks associated with snoring is obstructive sleep apnea. It occurs when the patient's normal breathing pattern is disrupted during sleep. This condition will prolonged from treatment can result in hypertension, stroke, or even heart failure.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Waking with dry throat
- Morning headaches
- Daytime fatigue
- Sleep restless
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
Diagnosis of sleep apnea is carried out by a sleep study or polysomnography in a sleep center. It is a test that records the patient's physical activities while they sleep. It helps determine whether the patient suffers from sleep apnea. Other tests for sleep apnea may include EEG, EMG, EOG, nasal airflow sensor or a snore microphone.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
CPAP: continuous Positive Airway Pressure is a mask worn over the nose while the patient sleeps. It allows continuous flow of air into the nose. It also helps keep the airway open normalizing the patient's ability to breathe.