Your Real Snoring Problem

As you can see from the diagram above, the purple section highlights the actual conditions that eventually lead all the way up to your snoring sound.

If you are serious about addressing your snoring issues then you need to identify which of the underlying problems you are affected with and then find a readily available solution to solve it.

Below is a brief overview of each of these conditions that cause a restricted airway and tissue vibration which in turn causes the snoring noise.

Tongue Drop

Incredibly common and the good news is that it is easily solved with the use of a simple tongue retaining mouthpiece.

Basically, as you sleep, your tongue drops down to obstruct your airflow.

This happens much more if you sleep on your back where gravity makes your tongue fall downwards to where your airway is located.

Nasal Obstruction

Again, very common and more often causes snoring from time to time when your nasal passages are actually blocked or constricted.

There is a whole host of underlying issues that may cause nasal obstruction, including:

  1. Sinus inflammation
  2. Common cold or Flu
  3. Allergies
  4. Irregular nasal cavities, including deviated Septum

If your nasal obstruction is temporary, during for example a cold, then there are a number of over the counter nasal strips or nasal sprays that can provide relief and reduce or eliminate your snoring whilst you sleep.

Throat Weakness

Less common.

The muscles and tissue on some people’s throat wall are abnormally weak causing the lining to fall under gravity whilst you sleep, much like Tongue Drop above.

Unfortunately, changing sleeping positions from on your back seldom improves the airflow as your throat muscles and tissue lining surround the area completely.

Specialist help is the best option in this case.

Airway Tissue Contact

Less common.

For some people, the tissues at the top of their airway are so close together, that during sleep they actually touch and effectively “obstruct the airway gap”.

The result is a restricted, but also an intermittent airflow as the softer tissues will “flap” under the velocity of airflow.

Specialist help is the best option in this case.

Mispositioned Jaw

Probably the most common problem experienced by snorers, on par with those that suffer from Tongue Drop.

Some people’s lower jaw is actually placed that little bit further back than normal.

The effect of this is that the base of the jaw bone impedes the airway passage causing a continuous restriction.

A tiny percentage of people that snore because of mis-positioned jaws require jaw realignment surgery and you would need to speak to a Specialist in this area for advice.

The vast majority of people, however, need minimal jaw repositioning and find that a “Jaw Forwarding” or “Mandibular Advancement” mouthpiece solves their snoring issues completely.

Others find that the use of a Chin Strap provides enough upward jaw support to prevent airway restriction.

Excess Throat Fat

Very much in line with Throat Weakness above, but with a different root cause.

An excessively fatty throat basically causes less space for air to travel through which in itself is the cause of a restricted airflow.

Obvious resolution to this problem would be to lose weight if you are overweight.

Otherwise, if this is not an option or you are not overweight, then you should seek Specialist advice.

Excess Throat Muscle Relaxing

Think excess alcohol!

Most people may have experienced snoring when they’ve had a few too many drinks.

Alcohol causes muscles to relax and the muscles in your throat can relax to the extent that they actually droop down to restrict your air passage.

Although this is usually only temporary, and I have used the example of drinking too much in the example here, there are other things, such as certain drugs and sedatives that could cause the same effect, but the obvious solution would be to stop the root of the issue or at least cut down to see if your snoring improves.

For many, cutting down on alcohol consumption can be difficult but there are some great tips here.

There are other medical conditions that may lead your throat muscles to relax excessively on a more persistent basis, but this is much more rare and you should see a Specialist if this is the case with you.

Sleep Apnea

This is a HUGE one and does affect a large number of people.

Sleep Apnea is a condition that causes your breathing to pause or shallow breathes which means that not enough air reaches your lungs.

There are different types of Sleep Apnea, including Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), where the airway either collapses or blocks.

When the airway becomes completely blocked, this is known as Apnea.

There are Sleep Apnea tests that you can take which will provide you with an AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index) level that tells you whether you have a mild or moderate case or a more severe level of Sleep Apnea.

For mild or moderate Sleep Apnea, there are SOME mouthpieces that suffers have found to offer real benefit to them.

Most people, however, find that Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the only effective solution.

You should realize that Sleep Apnea is a SERIOUS condition that could lead to DEATH and if you suspect that you do suffer with this condition you really should waste no time in speaking to a Specialist and getting some help.

One of the biggest indications that you suffer from OSA is when you actually awake at night from your snoring state gasping for air or there’s a sudden release of very load snoring.

If this sounds like you, don’t delay, get advice.

For more information, visit the American Sleep Apnea Association.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this taster of some of the main underlying problems that cause snoring will give you a greater understanding and better picture of what you should consider going forward.

If you are in any doubt, our clear advice is to seek professional advice.

The information above is only intended as a guide and does not constitute any medical advice or opinion.

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