Obstructed nasal cavity causes snoring
Snoring is the noise produced when the uvula and soft palate vibrate. The uvula, the soft tissue hanging down over the tongue, and soft palate are located in the mouth region. If the two organs move closer to the tongue’s rear, nasal cavity or both, the upper airway gets obstructed. As a result, vibrations occur. To understand snoring better, knowledge of anatomy of the nasal cavity is very useful.
The bony nasal septum, covered with cartilages anteriorly, divides the triangular nasal cavity into left and right halves. Each part features a medial wall, lateral wall, floor and sloping roof. Three scroll- or shelf-like bony structures project from the cavity‘s lateral wall. The projections warm and humidify the air by increasing the nose surface area. The lateral wall separates the nasal cavity from the nasolacrimal canal and lacrimal groove in anterior, the maxillary sinus at the bottom and the orbital cavity located above.
The bony part of the lateral wall consists of medial pterygoid plate (sphenoid), perpendicular plate (palantine), inferior nasal concha, middle and superior conchae of the ethmoid, lacrimal, frontal process (maxilla) and nasal bone. The bony wall has three turbinates: inferior, middle and superior. The region near the turbinate bones represents meatuses. A number of ducts open on the wall at the different meatuses. For instance, the inferior meatus receives the nasolacrimal duct. The middle meatus is the junction for anterior ethmoidal, maxillary and frontal sinuses. The posterior ethmoidal sinuses open on the superior meatus.
The palatine bone’s horizontal plate and maxilla’s palatine process make the nasal cavity floor. The ethmoid bone’s cribriform plate is located in the plain middle part of the nasal cavity roof. The sphenoid bone’s inferior surface forms the back slope of the roof. The nasal cartilages, nasal bone and the frontal bone’s nasal area form the front slope of the roof. The surface of the cavity is irregular.
The sphenoid sinus drains into the spheno-ethmoidal recess, the space located above the superior turbinate. The olfactory cleft, covered with olfactory epithelium, separates the ethmoid’s cribriform plate and superior turbinate from the septum area. Entire nasal cavity barring the vestibule has mucous membrane. The vestibule is part of the nasal cavity located near nostrils. The vestibule features skin lining, sweat and sebaceous glands, and coarse hairs.
Cigarette smoke is a common cause of pain and soreness of the nasalcavity lining. As a result, the lining swells and catarrh condition, an increase in mucus production within the throat and nose, develops. The air passage gets plugged and the patient snores.