Risk Factors for Snoring
Some factors that contribute to snoring are:
- Mouth featuresHaving a long, low, or thick soft palate, a long uvula (tissue that hangs from the soft palate), or enlarged tonsils can narrow the airway and cause snoring.
- Mouth breathingBreathing through the mouth instead of the nose causes more air to pass through the airway, increasing tissue vibration and snoring.
- Excess weightOverweight people often have thicker necks, which can also narrow the airway. Sleep apnea is common in men whose necks measure more than 17" around and in women whose necks measure greater than 16".
- Nasal congestionA stuffy nose (e.g., caused by an upper respiratory infection, such as a cold, or by allergies) makes it more difficult to breathe and can increase tissue vibration.
- Deviated septumAn abnormality in the tissue that separates the nostrils can also cause a narrowed airway and snoring.
- AlcoholDrinking alcohol too close to bedtime makes throat muscles relax even more and can increase snoring.
- Sleep apneaThis condition causes throat tissues to obstruct the airway, narrowing it to the point that little oxygen can get through or blocking the airway completely and contributing to snoring.