Snoring – what is it?

Snoring is a rough, disagreeable sounds made in breathing during sleep or coma (meaning deep sleep). The noisy breathing is the result of an open mouth and relaxation of the palate (meaning the roof of the mouth separating the mouth from the nasal cavity). The back portion of the palate, the soft palate, consist of muscular tissue forming a partial partition between the mouth and and the throat. A small cone like projection, the uvula, hangs from the middle of the soft palate. Both the hard and soft portions of the palate are lined with mucous membrane containing numerous glands that lubricate the mouth and throat frequently induced by lying supine (meaning lying on the back, in this position gravity pulls the jaw and tongue down and back).

This cause the mouth to open and the tongue to drop back into the airway, and leads to narrowing of the air passage resulting, noisy breathing through the mouth or nose during sleep. Snoring may indicate some obstruction to nasal breathing such as adenoids (a spongy masses of lymphoid tissue that occupy the nasopharynx the space between the back of the nose and the throat). When these growths become enlarged they interfere with normal breathing and sometimes with hearing and normal dental development, resulting in an alternation of facial expression. Infection of the adenoids are common, the symptoms resembling those of tonsillitis, with which it is frequently associated with. This is especially true in children. In some individuals it is merely a poor breathing habit that usually disappears when the person lies on his side.

You may want to consult with a specialist if you have severe snoring that has just started recently and you have not gained any weight.

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