Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What makes people snore?"
I have a snoring problem. Why do I snore? I want to do something about it because I'm afraid I'll end up with sleep apnea someday or die in my sleep.
Snoring is a very common problem for many people. It occurs because, when you fall asleep, certain soft tissues and muscles inside your throat relax more than when you are awake. This allows them to vibrate when you breathe in and out, which causes the snoring noise. Sometimes, snoring is just related to your particular throat anatomy and is not a sign of any serious medical problem. However, most cases of severe snoring should be evaluated by a primary care doctor. This is because there are several causes of snoring that are treatable and should be treated. First among these are nasal allergies or nasal congestion, which is a problem that your doctor can easily diagnose with a simple examination and for which excellent treatments are available. Similar, a deviated nasal septum, often caused by an old nose injury, can be surgically corrected. Next, sleep apnea is a very common cause of snoring. This is more common in people who are overweight and have other chronic medical conditions. In sleep apnea, the airway actually completely closes off periodically while you are asleep, leading to 'gasping' and fatigue. This condition can be treated in more mild cases by weight loss, whereas more serious cases may require a device to assist with sleeping. Start by seeing your doctor today!
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