What is Snoring:
Snoring, like all other sounds, is caused by vibrations that cause particles in the air to form sound waves. For example, when we speak, our vocal cords vibrate to form our voice. When our stomach growls (borborygmus), our stomach and intestines vibrate as air and food move through them. While we are asleep, turbulent airflow can cause the tissues of the palate (roof of the mouth) and throat to vibrate, giving rise to snoring. Essentially, snoring is a sound resulting from turbulent airflow that causes tissues to vibrate during sleep. Any person can snore. Frequently, people who do not regularly snore will report snoring after a viral illness, after drinking alcohol, or when taking some medications.
The goals for the treatment of snoring may be difficult to determine. The problem of snoring usually is a problem for the bed partner or roommate. Therefore, successful treatment should also include the goal of achieving a successful night's sleep for the bed partner or roommate. This makes treatment of snoring a challenge. For example, someone may have a successful treatment if his or her snoring decreases from a jackhammer level to that of a passing truck. If their bed partner is happy, then the snoring problem is "cured." However, another person whose snoring decreases from a mild sound to the level of heavy breathing may still have an unhappy bed partner. Most procedures to treat snoring are focused on reducing the flutter or movement of the soft palate (roof of the mouth). This addresses palatal flutter snoring. If the snoring originates from behind the tongue or from the lateral walls of the throat, palatal procedures will be less effective.