Although many people experience snoring from time to time, the condition is most commonly seen in men and in those who are overweight. According to the Mayo Clinic, men are much more likely than women to snore or to experience related conditions like sleep apnea.
An estimated half of adult men snore for varying reasons. Most commonly, men snore because their airways become narrower during sleep, which creates a resistance in the pathways connecting the nose and mouth to the lungs. Alternatively, a smaller percentage of men suffer from structural issues in their jaw and face. Issues like a small jaw or a shallow space between the nostrils and the back of the head can cause snoring. This also causes additional suction pressure on the soft tissues of the mouth, creating vibrations and worsening the effects of snoring.
Problematic snoring is most frequent in males who are overweight or obese and usually worsens with age. As a result, it is very important to treat both the snoring and any contributing medical or lifestyle causes of breathing issues. If left untreated, snoring and any associated sleep deprivation can also contribute to heart disease symptoms such as arrhythmias, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure. Daytime dysfunction is also common among those who snore because of unrefreshing sleep, which can lead to safety issues, impaired productivity, and cognitive issues.
Because snoring may indicate an underlying medical issue such as obstructive sleep apnea, it is important that those who suffer from chronic snoring see their physicians. Your doctor can ascertain the cause of your snoring, and he or she may also recommend further medical treatment by a specialist. Lifestyle changes are also helpful in reducing the effects of snoring, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption.
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