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Why do I Snore ?

During sleep, the soft palate, uvula and tongue relax. If these organs are too large, they can cause partial airway obstruction. You snore when your airways are partially blocked, this exerts a negative pressure that vibrates the soft tissues of the upper airway and generates sound. This phenomenon is often associated with sleep disturbance, fatigue and daytime sleepiness. It can even decrease blood oxygen levels.


The causes of snoring are diverse and vary from one patient to another. The key to successfully treating snoring is to identify the causes in order to establish an effective and personalized treatment plan.

What can cause my snoring?

During sleep, your tongue soft palate and throat relax. For some people, these structures can partially block the airway, and vibrate when the air is inspired. This is what causes snoring.


This breathing noise may be generated or enhanced by one or more of the following conditions:


  • Weight: being overweight can cause narrowing of the airways
  • Pregnancy (related to weight gain)
  • Nasal polyps (a polyp is an outgrowth)
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Stuffy nose: due to a cold or allergies
  • The use of alcohol or tranquilizers
  • Age: tissues are more distended with age

The risk of Snoring: Sleep Apnea

In some cases, snoring can be a sign of a more serious condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrom (OSA – OSAS). This can cause daytime sleepiness and serious health problems such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease (stroke, heart attack).


The most common symptom of sleep apnea is daytime sleepiness.


This can manifest as:

  • Troubled focus,
  • Memory loss,
  • Irritability.

Other major symptoms include :

  • Snoring
  • Morning Headaches
  • Observed apneas (breathing pauses) by a partner during sleep.

A quick and easy way to know if you are at risk for Sleep Apnea:

The Epworth test is commonly used to screen for sleep apnea.
This short questionnaire measures your level of daytime sleepiness.

Your Epworth test is positive?

If you have been identified as having an abnormally high drowsiness level, it is recommended that you consult a sleep specialist who will prescribe a home sleep study or a laboratory sleep study.