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Did Your Childhood Set You up for Snoring?

There are many lifestyle factors today that might contribute to your snoring. Alcohol consumption, your diet, and your sleeping position, for example, can both profoundly impact your snoring. But a new study suggests that it could have been your childhood that set you up to become a snorer.

Crowded Houses

This study is based on the responses people gave to a health questionnaire. More than 16,000 questionnaires were sent to people aged 25-54 in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and Estonia. About 74% of people responded, including 18% of respondents who said that they were habitual snorers. Researchers correlated responses to questions about childhood environment with those about current snoring habits and found a number of positive correlations between the two. For example:

  • Respiratory infection requiring hospitalization before age 2: 27% increased risk
  • Having a dog in the home as a baby: 26% increased risk
  • Recurring ear infections (otitis): 18% increased risk
  • Having a large family: 4% increased risk per additional person

Childhood SnoringThe explanation is that these factors can contribute to the development of the airway, resulting in changes that interfere with nighttime breathing, resulting in snoring. Other childhood factors that didn’t turn out to have an impact on snoring included, having cats or other pets as a baby, the mother’s age when the child was born, and the education level of the parents.

Correlation or Causation?

What we don’t know is whether these childhood factors can really cause increased snoring risk in adults. To move from correlation to causation requires further studies, but we can ask whether we think they might be connected by looking at potential causal mechanisms.

It’s easy to see how some of these things could correlate with development of the airway. Respiratory and ear infections could easily influence the development of the airway. Having a large family might increase the risk of an unending stream of minor colds, which could also influence the development of the airway.

The presence of a dog, leading to allergies, could also lead to more mouth breathing, which impacts development of the airway and can increase risk of snoring, sleep apnea, and TMJ. But since cats or other pets don’t seem linked, this makes the connection less strong.

Snoring Causes Are Complicated–Treatment Is Simple

We may have a hard time figuring out what’s causing your snoring, but we know very well how to treat it. Oral appliances are a very effective approach to treating snoring. They’re simple to use and can be very comfortable to wear.

If you are tired of your–or your spouse’s–snoring in San Diego, please call (619) 299-5925 for an appointment with a sleep dentist at Strober Dental.

By |October 7th, 2015|Snoring|