Snoring occurs when a “partial” obstruction, or a constriction of the airway, causes the air you are breathing to become turbulent. That turbulence creates vibration of tissues in the nose or throat that we hear as snoring. The deeper stages of sleep often result in more relaxed tissues that surround the airway, which can increase snoring and potentially create obstructive sleep apnea.
Having a small airway through your nasal passages, behind your soft palate and behind your tongue can all induce the turbulent air for snoring. Nasal hygiene can help reduce constriction in your nasal passages. A special non-invasive laser therapy known as Nightlase can also help reduce snoring and sleep apnea by tightening and shortening the soft palate which will increase the airflow behind it. Oral appliances and CPAP machines can also be effective for preventing turbulent air behind the tongue and soft palate.
Normal breathing should be calm and silent for both adults and children. If this isn’t how you are breathing, it might be worth scheduling a consultation. However, snoring isn’t always present with all obstructive sleep apnea and vice versa.
At the Breathing and Sleep Center, we can evaluate and treat the areas of airway obstruction that are potential culprits for snoring and turbulent air. Contact us to learn more or register here for our next educational seminar.