Snoring is a very common problem: 45% of adults snore occasionally, while 25% of adults snore nightly. People often poke fun at those who snore, but snoring is no laughing matter. Although snoring alone typically does not cause any significant medical problems, it may lead to poor sleep, daytime tiredness, embarrassment, and strained relationships.
Snoring may also be a symptom of sleep apnea, a much more serious and potentially life-threatening sleep disorder that affects over 12 million Americans. If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. If you have a snoring problem, it is extremely important to see a sleep disorder specialist for a proper diagnosis.
Snoring sounds are caused when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the nasal cavity and back of the throat. People who snore may suffer from poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat, excessive bulkiness of throat tissue, a long uvula, or obstructed nasal airways. Typically, the soft palate and uvula vibrate due to this obstruction and snoring results.