Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Factors that Increase and/or Lead to Snoring

There are several health and lifestyle factors that contribute to snoring; and this is true for both men and women, since snoring is a condition that does affect both genders (though surveys suggest that men snorers outnumber women snorers by a ratio of 2:1). 

Some of the major health and lifestyle factors that can contribute to snoring include: 

Allergies, which can clog the airway and trachea 

Allergy medications, which can dry the nasal cavities 

Cold and Flu, which can similarly clog the airway (this is why some people experience snoring only when they’re suffering a cold or flu) 

Thickened tissues in the nasal passages, which can sometimes result from some surgeries unrelated to snoring 

Overuse of nasal sprays which irritate the nasal passageway 

Enlarged adenoids and/or tonsils 

Goiter (swelling of the an ineffective thyroid gland in the neck) 

A disproportionately large tongue that blocks airflow 

Ineffective regulation and neural control of mucus membranes 

Obesity and excess weight (leading to an enlarged neck and excess soft tissue in the trachea)* 

Excess gut/belly (relatively decreasing the size of the lungs)* 

Drinking alcohol**, which: sedates the throat muscles and causes them to collapse, and dilates blood vessels which swells up throat tissue 

Cigarette smoking, which inflames the upper airway 

The normal aging process, which can simply lead to a loss of muscle tone in the neck and thus snoring 

* Since relatively more men tend to experience an excess gut, this is one reason why more men tend to experience snoring than women. 

** Any medication (prescribed, over the counter, or illicit) that leads to excessive relaxation can lead to snoring. 

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