What Causes People to Snore?

Snoring is simply a sign that the air is not flowing freely when the person breathes in or attempts to exhale. There are many different causes for this. If you have any form of congestion caused by a cold or allergies you may snore, if your tonsils are swollen then you may snore, if you are taking any pain medications, or sleep medications you may snore, if you drink alcohol you might be a noisy sleeper, smokers often snore as well.
There are also serious causes of snoring. A person that has obstructive sleep apnea will be a chronic snorer. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs because the muscles in the back of the throat relaxes and disrupts the normal breathing pattern. People who have this serious condition will often choke in their sleep, or gasp like they are trying to get air. They are normally tired and sleepy during the day because of their poor sleep at night. People who have obstructive sleep apnea may not be aware that their sleep is being interrupted, often it is their partner than can point out the sleep apnea problem.

Can Snoring be Dangerous?

If you have a chronic condition like obstructive sleep apnea that is causing you to snore then you are in danger, not from the noise you make, but from the stress that snoring puts on your heart, and nervous system. People who suffer from conditions like obstructive sleep apnea are at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, having a stroke, or developing other cardiovascular conditions.
Researchers in Australia have recently linked obstructive sleep apnea to depression in men. The lack of quality sleep causes men to have a thirty nine percent higher chance of developing depression.

What can be done?

The most frequent ways to address obstructive sleep apnea is for the patient to make lifestyle changes. If a person is overweight, then the doctor will recommend that they lose weight. Doctors also recommend that people with obstructive sleep apnea stop smoking tobacco products, and stop drinking alcohol. These lifestyle changes often cure mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea.
For more serious cases of obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend that you start using a device known as a continuous positive airway pressure machine. These machines have a mask that you wear when you are sleeping so that a prescribed amount of air pressure will be applied and will keep your airways open while you are asleep. You might have to wear a molded mouthpiece like the dental guards that are worn to stop people from grinding their teeth. The molded mouthpiece can help position your jaw and tongue so that your airway through your throat remains properly open while you are sleeping.
Snoring can be dangerous because it can mean you are not sleeping well. If you do not get enough sleep then you will suffer health effects, and if you keep your partner from sleeping you will suffer relationship effects. If you snore regularly you should talk to your doctor about what you can do to correct the problem.