Snoring is quite common, however it’s important to note that it may be a sign that something more serious is going on. So, why do we snore?

Snoring is a noisy breathing through the mouth or nose caused by the vibrating tissues of a narrowed throat.

Are you concerned with your snoring? The home doctor experts at House Call Doctor have all the information you need to know.

What can cause snoring?

There are a number of factors that can cause snoring from natural triggers and lifestyle factors to the anatomy of your mouth and sinuses. When you go to sleep, the muscles in the roof of your mouth, tongue and throat relax. The tissues in your throat can relax enough that they partially block your airway and vibrate. The narrower your airway, the more forceful the airflow which results in snoring.

What are the triggers?

There can be triggers in your everyday lifestyle including:

  • Alcohol: alcohol is considered the biggest trigger to snoring as it can block your nose and relax the airway muscles.
  • Sleeping on your back: this sleeping position contributes to collapsing the airway as the back of the throat becomes blocked by the tongue.
  • Smoking: smoking can cause fluid build-up which narrows the airway and irritates the nose and throat.
  • Illness: having a blocked nose from a cold or fly can contribute to snoring, along with enlarged tonsils.

Are there health risks?

Sleep apnoea is the most common health risk associated with snoring. It’s a disorder where breathing can stop as the upper airways repeatedly close during sleep. There are other health risks that are linked to sleep apnoea including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Driver fatigue.

How can I prevent snoring?

Simple remedies for snoring include:

  • Avoid sleeping tablets
  • Sleep on your side
  • Treat nasal congestion and illness
  • Make sure the air in your bedroom in not too dry or too humid
  • Avoid alcohol in the hours before bed.