Why do some patients snore?

Both snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) have a common origin: the obstruction of the upper airway caused by the relaxation of muscles controlling the soft palate and tongue. In snorers without OSA, the airway is obstructed, but not collapsed, though there are flow limitations. In snorers with OSA, there is a partial or complete collapse of the airway, leading to either

  • An apnoea, which is the cessation of airflow for 10 seconds or more.
  • A hypopnoea, which is a decrease in airflow lasting for more than 10 seconds, with a reduction of 30% in airflow and at least 4% oxygen desaturation from baseline.

 

what causes snoring

 

Causes of snoring

Several factors can increase snoring intensity: fatigue, excess weight, sleeping on the back, and drinking alcohol before going to bed are all conducive to loud snoring. People with enlarged tonsils, an enlarged tongue or excess weight around the neck are also prone to snoring. Even structural reasons like the shape of one’s nose or jaw can cause snoring.

Snoring and OSA

Snoring is considered as the primary symptom for obstructive sleep apnoea.1 Long considered nothing more than a social nuisance, it’s now seen as the initial step of a continuum that can lead to more severe forms of OSA.2

Ask your patients if they suffer from loud snoring as well as excessive daytime somnolence. If they do, you should recommend a sleep test in order to gauge their AHI levels so you can prescribe them appropriate treatment.

 

More about snoring

Key facts about snoring
Snoring can have a disruptive effect on your patients’ lives. They’re often not the first to realise they have a problem: rather, it’s their bed partner who complains.

References

  1. Meslier N, Racineux JL. Snoring and high-resistance syndrome. Rev Mal Respir 2004; 21 : 2S35-2S42. (French)

  2. McNamara SG, Cistulli PA, Sullivan CE, Strohl KP. Clinical aspects of sleep apnea. In: Saunders NA, Sullivan CE, editors. Sleep and breathing: lung biology in health and disease. 2nd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker; 1994: 337-61.

By continuing to browse this site, you give consent for cookies to be used. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. Change settings or learn more. or Learn more

Manage your preferences regarding cookies

A cookie is a small piece of data that a website asks your browser to store on your computer or mobile device. Please choose whether our website may use statistic or / and marketing cookies, as explained below:

Required cookies

These cookies are essential to the functioning of the site.

Analytical cookies

These cookies allow ResMed to analyze the website usage to measure and improve performance.

Marketing cookies

These cookies are used to help better advertise depending on your interests.