You want nothing more than to shut your eyes and get some much-needed rest, but your spouse’s snoring starts up and you find it impossible to sleep with the noise. While most people snore from time to time, 37 million people in the United States admit to regular snoring.
There are many reasons why people snore regularly, and Dr. Cecil Yeung and the team here at Houston Sinus Surgery want to review some of the more common ones here.
Any time someone snores at night, the problem is caused by an obstruction that’s blocking the free flow of air. As a result, the person needs to force air through a tighter passageway, which can cause the muscles and soft tissues in their throat to vibrate.
In this blog post, we’re concentrating on chronic snoring, not snoring related to issues that pose temporary obstructions in the airways, such as nasal congestion due to a cold or loosened throat muscles due to alcohol.
Some of the more common culprits when it comes to ongoing problems with snoring include:
People who are obese are more prone to snoring because of excess tissue and fat around their throats, which can narrow their airways.
The thin piece of tissue that splits your nose into two nostrils is called a septum. Under ideal circumstances, the septum would neatly divide the space into two equally sized nostrils, but this is rarely the case. Most people have mild deviations in their septums, but a deviation that’s moderate to severe can hamper the flow of air and cause snoring.
Another possible cause for your spouse’s snoring may be the presence of numerous or large nasal polyps, which are benign growths in the nasal passages.
Research suggests that 10-30% of adults in the United States have obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the soft tissues at the back of the throat collapse and block airflow. When the soft tissues collapse — which can happen many times during the night — the sufferer awakens briefly to clear their throat and start breathing again.
Aside from the list above, there are other reasons why your spouse may snore regularly, such as structural abnormalities in their airways or weak muscles in their throat and/or tongue. Or, the problem could occur because your spouse sleeps on their back, which allows their tongue to slide backward and block their throat.
The best way to find out what’s behind your spouse’s snoring is to come see us for a full evaluation. Once we diagnose what the cause is, we can recommend treatment and help you both sleep more soundly.
To get to the bottom of your spouse’s snoring, call our Houston office at 713-795-4886 or book an appointment online today.