Common Causes of Snoring

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My Dad had a snoring problem. I can still remember nights as a child hearing what sounded like a diesel truck driving through the house. This "diesel truck" was of course my Father, snoring away, much to the chagrin of the rest of the household. His snoring would often be too loud for my Mother to sleep in the same room, which is completely understandable when you take into account that I could hear his snoring from across the entire house. Since his snoring was such an imposing force on my childhood, I sought an answer to the question: why do people snore? People snore because the airway in the throat or nasal passage is blocked or restricted or as a possible symptom of sleep apnea. In the most general sense, snoring is the vibration of the tissue in your airway. When a person sleeps, the muscles in the mouth and throat relax. As the muscles in the mouth and throat become hypotonic, airflow can be restricted by the narrowing of the airway. As the airway narrows and air is inhaled during normal breathing, the tissue can vibrate, which produces snoring. There are people, such as my Father, who have blockages in the nasal passageway that cause snoring. These blockages are often an affliction the person is born with, but can also be caused by a broken nose or other injury. A common medical issue that can cause snoring is a deviated septum. The nasal septum is the wall dividing the nasal cavity into halves; it is composed of a central supporting skeleton covered on each side by mucous membranes (American Academy of Otolaryngology, 2014). The ideal position of the nasal septum is exactly midline. A deviated septum occurs when the septum is not in the middle of the passages, blocking one or both passages. The increased effort requir... ... middle of paper ... ...s breathing all together for possibly minutes at a time, snoring loudly when the pressure is great enough to overcome the tissue blockage. Although having this knowledge will do little to quiet a person who snores, it does provide a greater understanding of the issue and allows for appropriate measures to be taken. Bibliography American Academy of Otolaryngology. (2014). American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from https://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/deviatedSeptum.cfm Kovacs, J. S. (2007, October 02). WebMD. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/nix-nightcap-better-sleep National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2012, July 10). Retrieved April 23, 2014, from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea/

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