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The main characteristic of sleep apnea is snoring. While snoring is a part of many peoples' every day lives - 45 percent of adults snore at least occasionally, and 25 percent are habitual snorers - many of us don't realize how it occurs. Here are some facts about snoring, courtesy of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.
The noisy sounds of snoring occur when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This area is the collapsible part of the airway where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula. Snoring occurs when these structures strike each other and vibrate during breathing.
People who snore may suffer from:
- Poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat.
- Excessive bulkiness of throat tissue.
- Long soft palate and/or uvula.
- Obstructed nasal airways.