Snoring pathophysiology

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Snoring Microchapters


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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures, resulting in an audible sound. Snoring is caused by an obstruction of normal breathing air movement while sleeping. The sound may be soft or loud and unpleasant. Snoring is usually an involuntary act, but may also be produced voluntarily.


The vibrating structures producing the noise are usually the uvula and soft palate. Irregular airflow may be caused by a blockage and is often due to conditions such as:

  • Throat weakness causing the throat to close during sleep
  • Mispositioned jaw, often caused by tension in muscles
  • Fat gathering in and around the throat
  • Obstruction in the nasal passageway


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