Snoring is the loud noise that can be heard when a snorer inhales air when sleeping. This noise is generated when the soft palate and the uvula are vibrating near the back of the throat or at the bottom of the tongue.
While you are falling asleep, the soft tissues in the bottom of your throat, the airway muscles and tongue muscle are slackening. During this process, the tongue flops into the airway, thus narrowing the air passage. When air flows through this narrowed airway, it moves faster and quivers the tissues one over the other producing in this way a snoring noise. The narrower the air passage becomes, the louder snoring will be.
The three main causes of air passage becoming narrower are:
- Large size of the soft tissues.
- Important relaxation of the soft tissues.
- Increased flow resistance through airways.
Snoring is awkward for relatives, but it could be symptomatic of a much more serious disease: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sickness affecting 2% women and 4% men between 30 and 60 years old.