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Why do we snore more as we get older?

5192 day(s) ago

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Studies vary widely on the percentage of people who snore, but among those studies that group snoring by age, people over the age of 60 are twice as likely to snore as the general population. Age by itself doesn't make us snore more, but as we get older we tend have more health problems that cause snoring.

Snoring is caused by a restriction in the airway during sleep, causing floppy tissues in the throat to flop around. It's caused by one or more of these factors:

Excess body fat closing the airways
A misaligned jaw
Nasal obstruction
Use of muscle relaxants
Airway blocked by the tongue, typically from sleeping on one's back

Most of these can easily be connected to age related problems:

Middle-aged spread
Weakened muscles
Nasal obstruction due to a larger nose
Use of medications that treat chronic pain or arthritis

So, you don't necessarily snore because you're older, but as you age you're more likely to have problems that cause you to snore. You could be a healthy seventy-year-old and snore less than an ill twenty-year-old.

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