You’re Not Alone! Snoring is Extremely Common
- More than 75 million Americans suffer from sleep-disordered breathing, including snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
- 24% of adult males and 9% of adult females are affected.
- More than 1.3 million Americans are diagnosed with OSA annually.
Why Do We Snore?
As we sleep, tissues (soft palate, throat, uvula, tonsils, and adenoids) vibrate and cause a fluttering sound. The most common causes of habitual snoring are simple anatomic abnormalities leading to partial obstruction. The most common sites for this are the roof of the mouth including the palate, uvula, and tonsils; the throat; and the nose. Another two possible sites of obstruction that may contribute to snoring and should be evaluated are the base of the tongue (which can become enlarged and impede airflow) and the nose.
In the nose, a crooked or deviated septum (the bone and cartilage wall which divides the nose internally) may cause obstruction. In addition, common structures that protrude from the lateral wall known as turbinates can become chronically enlarged and block airflow. Weight gain can also amplify an existing anatomical problem that before caused only mild and unobservable obstruction. Most of the above-mentioned conditions are persistent and will continue to worsen with age.