Snoring is very common, affecting 1 in 2 people at some point in their lives. A quarter of the population snores on a regular basis. Snoring is caused by a noise that is generated when air passes through the nose and mouth; the exact noise of snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft palate (the spongy area at the back of the roof of the mouth) when air passes through the mouth.
What causes snoring?
Snoring may be caused by a number of different factors; these include:
- Health conditions or illnesses: certain health conditions and illnesses can cause the nasal passages to become blocked; examples include colds and flu
- Allergies: allergies can cause the nasal passages to become blocked
- Being overweight: being overweight increases the risk of snoring considerably
- Smoking: smoking causes the airways and the nasal passages to become blocked
- Age: older people are more likely to snore than younger people
- Drinking alcohol
- Sleeping on your back; people that sleep on their back are much more likely to snore than those that sleep on their sides or fronts
Treatment for snoring
There is no quick-fix solution for snoring but there are steps you can take to help stop snoring; these include:
- Losing weight
- Taking antihistamines (if you have an allergy)
- Sleeping on your side
- Avoiding drinking before bed
- Stopping smoking
If snoring is becoming a real problem that is causing troubles with relationships and contributing to stress and poor performance at work, a doctor may recommend surgery; this is used to treat patients that snore as a result of an obstruction or problem with the nasal passages. It may also be beneficial to wear nasal strips.