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Male Snoring

When a person breathes, the air moves through the mouth or nose to the pharynx (part of the throat that sits behind the mouth and nasal cavity) and larynx (part of the throat that stops food and drink from blocking the airway). The air then moves to the trachea (windpipe), through to the bronchi (air passageway to the lungs) and then finally enters the lungs.

When a person is awake, their pharynx and larynx muscles are always engaged. However, during sleep these muscles relax, which causes the airways to be partially blocked by the over relaxed muscle tissue. With the air not completely getting through to the lungs, the pressure in the airways increases and causes a vibration in the soft issues of the respiratory tract. The sound this vibration makes is snoring. The degree of air obstructed determines the severity of the snoring. In most cases, the narrower the airways, the louder the snoring.

What Causes Snoring in Males?

The main reasons why men snore are:

  1. The accumulated fat in the neck region squeezes the walls of the larynx, narrowing the airway passage. A 20% increase in the ideal weight of a male could lead to snoring, however for women, a 30-40% increase in ideal weight is usually needed to cause snoring.
  2. Use of sleeping pills, alcohol, or smoking lead to the relaxation of the pharynx and larynx muscles, which could cause periodic or continuous snoring. In general, men tend to consume more alcohol and smoke more than women.
  3. Nasal septum deviation occurs when there is an over growth of bone and cartilage tissues inside the nasal cavity. Nasal injuries could also cause a deviated nasal septum. It is common for males to get more nasal injuries than women due to rough contact sport or other activities.
  4. Polyps in the nose cause snoring, which occur more often in men than in women.

Is Snoring Dangerous?

If the walls of the throat are narrowed or completely closed, the air struggles to reach the lungs, which causes episodes of apnea (the lack of breathing during a period of sleep). If breathing stops for more than 10 seconds, it is diagnosed as Complicated Snoring. In severe cases, the period of apnea can last up to 3 minutes!

With prolonged and regular stops of breath during the night, the organs start to suffer from oxygen deprivation known as Hypoxia. In men, this disorder greatly increases arterial pressure during sleep and immediately after waking. The Hypoxia wakes the brain to command the body to breathe, which interrupts normal sleep. As a result, during the day, a person feels tired, has a reduced intellectual capacity and deterioration of attention and memory. Snoring can also cause erectile dysfunction in men.