snoring online: Ways to stop snoring naturally - Identifying the cause
of your snoring
Here, you will understand why you snore and gain
the information you need to reduce or even stop your snoring
On this page we will go through the different causes of snoring in
language you can understand. The purpose of this is for you, as you
read through this web page, to identify which applies with you or your
Let's get started
snoring: Although the
anterior [front] part of the mouth
airways is supported by cartilage or bone, The posterior [back] part of
the mouth and nose, otherwise called the nasopharynx is mainly
supported, and kept open, by soft tissue. This soft tissue is mainly
muscle, called the nasopharyngeal muscles.
During sleep, we loose a bit of muscle
tone. This loss of tone also
affects the nasopharyngeal muscles, thereby narrowing the upper airways
a little. In some people, this loss of tone causes a critical point to
be reached where there is turbulence in the stream of air flowing in
and out through the nasopharynx. This turbulence causes vibrations of
the nasopharyngeal soft tissue, resulting in snoring.
snoring: In your quest to find ways to
snoring it is
crucial to first identify what the cause of your snoring is.
Although most causes are benign, it is important to highlight that
snoring may be a symptom of serious disease so if you have any
doubt at all, you MUST consult your doctor.
of the lining [epithelium] of the airways:
- Cold or Catarrh:
These sufferers only
snore when they
have a cold. The virus causing the cold causes some swelling of the
lining of the airways [the mucosa] resulting in narrowing of the
airway. Also the mucus produced causes further narrowing of the passage.
- Allergic rhinitis:
Allergic rhinitis refers to a runny nose caused by allergy to
something, usually pollen but could be perfumes, house dust, anything
airborne. The allergy causes the lining of the nose and throat to swell
a little [remember that stuffy feeling!]. It is this swelling that
causes snoring. Sometimes you may not even have a runny nose component
to this so ask yourself. Is your snoring worse during periods of high
excess of soft tissue:
Everyone knows smoke from cigarettes or cigars is an irritant.
Including the person smoking them. Inhaling smoke, passively or
actively can result in irritation of the nasopharynx. Irritation leads
to mucosal swelling and you know what could result from this.
- Obesity: One
of the commonest causes
of snoring. No-one likes to admit it but some of us are
overweight. And this excess weight goes everywhere, ncluding the area
around the neck and in the supporting
structure of the neck. This causes a reduction in the space available
to airflow during breathing.
fat also weakens the
nasopharyngeal muscles making them more floppy. You can appreciate how
this increases the risk of snoring during sleep
- Large Uvula:
The uvula is the dangly
thing that you
see at the back of your mouth when you say ah to a mirror. In some
people, the Uvula is quite large. This can fall backwards during sleep,
partially blocking the airway, resulting in snoring.
- Large Adenoids:
The adenoids are tonsillar tissue the mst familiar of which is the
tonsils. But we have a lot more adenoid tissue around the back of our
mouths than just the tonsils. And they are distributed in a ring shape!
adenoids are enlarged, [remember the ring]
the resulting reduction in the caliber or width of the airways canlead
to snoring when the airway muscle tone is reduced by sleep.
- Large Turbinates:
The turbinates are
cartilage covered by epithelium, found in both nasal passages.
Obviously, enlargement of the turbinates would result in the narrowing
of the air passages making snoring more likely.
- Nasal Polyps or Cysts.
Nasal polyps are again dangly things that occur in the nose as a result
of too much lining or an overgrowth of the lining. This usually occurs
after chronic or prolonged irritation e.g in people with allergic
rhinitis. The polyps can grow to very large proportions. I once treated
a hap whose polyp was hanging out of his nostril. It is easy to imagine
how a nasal polyp can cause partial airway obstruction leading to
Although this is rare, this
is a possible
cause of snoring. A mass, anywhere in the upper airway, has the
potential to critically reduce the space in the nasal passages. Again
this narrowing becomes exacerbated during sleep, because of the
reduction in the tone of the muscles that occurs during sleep.
- The tongue:
When you sleep on your
back, the tongue can fall back causing a partial obstruction of your
- Any disease that can affect the nerve
supply to the
- Age: the older we get the less toned
our muscles become
- Deviated septum.
The septum is the piece of cartilage and bone that divides the nose
into two halves. Sometimes as an anatomical variation or as a result of
trauma, the septum can shift to one side.. This results in one smaller
nasal passage and a larger one. The turbulence that occurs when air
flows through the narrow passage can be percieved as snoring
- Jaw deformities
- Small nostrils
- Small posterior nares.
The posterior nares are the openings between the back of the nose and
the throat. Sometimes these can be congenitally narrowed resulting in
increase vibration of the air flowing through them.
Women are generally less likely to snore than men. However there are
two circumstances during which an increased occurrence of snoring has
been noted in women
The above is just a review of some of the
causes of snoring. In your
case you need to do the necessary research to find out what the cause
of your snoring is.
- During Pregnancy: The hormones
produced during pregnancy cause smooth muscle relaxation. Also the
presence of the fetus pushes up on the diaphragm
- After Menopause
cause of snoring in any individual case is crucial for
Finally you should be clear what type of
snoring you have in your exploration of ways to
- Rule out underlying serious illness
- If you are going to learn how to stop
snoring, it is
important that you identify the cause so that you can use the
Also called simple
snoring. In this,
sleep is noisy but there are no episodes of apnoea [stoppage of
breathing]. This is more a nuisance for bed partners than anything
else. Also results in dry mouth in the sufferer. There is no associated
because it is snoring associated with periods of no breathing. The
sufferer wakes from sleep, gasping for breath and then goes back to
sleep. This can lead to several interruptions of sleep during the
course of the night. These sufferers are always tired, fall asleep
during the day and experience serious disruption of their quality of
This guide on ways to stop snoring is targeted primarily to people with
simple snoring. If you suffer from Obstructive sleep apnoea you should
consult your physician.
Disclaimer: This is not a medical website
and all advise given is not on a professional level. This site is for
information purposes only. Please consult your physician if you are
concerned about any health related problems you have