Internist Questions Snoring

What causes snoring?

My boyfriend snores a lot and it's getting harder and harder for me to take it. What actually causes snoring?

1 Answer

Usually snoring is aided by partial airway obstruction. It occurs during inspiration. While breathing in, the narrowing causes the air to accelerate this and the rapid change in pressure
vibrates the soft flaccid tissues of the pharynx. This low pressure is transmitted to the lungs and then to the esophagus which may cause severe acid reflux which may damage vocal cords and weaker the voice. Snoring may be improved by bite blocks, rubber or plastic spacers that hold the jaws open to widen the airway, or by a CPAP machine that forces a gentle blast of air on inspiration. An operation to correct the partial obstruction, i.e.,deviated nasal septum, narrow pharyngeal walls, enlarged tongue, enlarged uvula ... some or all, can cure snoring permanently.