What REALLY works to stop snoring?
It should be noted that although severe snoring may indicate an apnea problem, it may also be simply caused by a somewhat obstructed airway.
A weight problem
The probability of snoring increases with a weight problem and can possibly be reduced by … losing weight. Too much alcohol also causes snoring; the alcohol is a sedative, and it relaxes the muscles of the neck and the tongue to block the breathing and increase the noise.
The aging process
Snoring is also caused, unfortunately, by the aging process. It’s not just the muscles of our arms and legs that become soft, but also those of the tongue and even the uvula, the little thing that hangs in the back of the throat. As the muscle tone of our airways decreases, tissues are more likely to vibrate when subjected to increased air pressure as we breathe with a narrowing air passage in our sleep .
In addition, removing molars for childhood orthopedic appliances – a common practice for the current generation of baby boomers – means that as they get older their mouths are smaller and their tongues bigger.
As long as it does not mean apnea, snoring in itself is not dangerous and does not cause serious sleep problems to the snorer. On the other hand, many of my insomniac clients suffer from their companion’s waking state, while I often see snorers who often can not bear the pain of sleeping separately despite the demands of their desperate spouse.
A possible cure is surgical
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP, has increased the airways. However, surgery carries risks and we know that patients have difficulty swallowing or the uncomfortable feeling that something is stuck in their airways.
Another possibility is somnoplasty
This method eliminates or shrinks the tissues by means of microwaves and can be performed in medical office. However, if the procedure works properly, the benefits can not last more than a few years and the risk of a change of voice exists.
Oral devices are less radical, less problematic and less expensive, with reversible side effects, if any. These devices usually help, but do not eliminate the problem.
The first of these consists of mandibular advancement devices, which advance the tongue and lower jaw to open the airways and reduce or eliminate snoring. These are advertised everywhere on the Internet, but they must be properly adjusted by a professional for their efficiency and comfort. The device must remain in the mouth all night and, even if they work well, snorers may not like the unpleasant sense of a large object preventing their mouth from closing. The teeth are indeed realigned during the night and, even if it sorts alone for a few moments after removing the device, people can still undergo sensitive tooth movements or teeth that drool or drool.
Nasal dilators are less intrusive to those who cannot stand sleeping with an object in their mouth. These seek to open the nostrils to reduce pressure and facilitate breathing through the nose. These can be either a somewhat stiff patch on the bridge of the nose to open the nostrils, or a small silicone ring inserted into the nose to do the same thing.
Smart Nora is an inflating pillow to place under your pillow, which slightly raises the snorer’s head when it detects snoring, to open the airways. The solution is expensive and the microphone detecting snoring should be placed carefully.
Singing for Snorers is an English DVD program sold online that I have recommended to several clients with satisfactory results. Created by a singing teacher and validated in a hospital setting, the techniques teach singing exercises to reinforce the soft tissues of the airways and limit vibrations.
Unfortunately, no independent study has proven the effectiveness of these products, with the exception of Singing for Snorers. The only solution is to try to find what suits you best. Remember that when calculating costs, these devices will need to be replaced regularly, with the exception of Smart Nora.