Can you stop snoring?
SNORING AND YOUR SLEEP
Snoring is the most frequently reported sleep disorder related to breathing. While it is not necessarily unhealthy, it can be a sign of a more pressing health problem. A variety of issues can lead to snoring , and understanding the cause of the snoring is one of the most important steps in finding a solution.
Snoring is the result of muscles in the airway relaxing during sleep. The relaxed tissues cause the throat to narrow, thus causing turbulent air to pass through the throat, resulting in vibrations. Usually, vibrations of the tongue, adenoids and tonsils are responsible for the actual sounds. Aging, sleep position, weight, nasal congestion and body/mouth anatomy can all contribute to this bothersome condition.
It is very important to first ensure that your snoring is not a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. Relaxed tissues in the airway cause narrowing, but can also lead to the airway collapsing completely, thus causing the person to stop breathing throughout the night. An overnight sleep study will determine whether your issue is snoring alone, or if you have OSA. Speaking with your physician is important if you suspect a problem. Take our survey now.
HOW CAN YOU STOP SNORING?
Once you determine that your breathing problems are not related to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, you can decide the best way to manage your snoring. There are a variety of treatments available to stop or minimize the impact of snoring. While healthier lifestyle choices can make a big impact, you may also find benefit from one of the options listed below.
Theravent Advanced Nightly Snore Therapy uses EPAP (Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure) to utilize your own breathing force to stop snoring. When the nasal strip is applied across the nostrils during sleep, its Micro-Valve technology creates a gentle pressure during exhalation that causes your throat and nasal airways to open slightly wider. By allowing your airway to widen, many throat vibrations are eliminated. Theravent has been proven in clinical studies to reducing snoring by 76%*. Theravent is available in three strengths – LITE, REGULAR, MAX – to offer a solution to light, moderate and heavy snorers.
Another way of controlling snoring is through Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP. CPAP is the gold standard for treatment of sleep disordered breathing, particularly with obstructive sleep apnea; however, CPAP is also very effective in controlling snoring.
CPAP works by delivering a constant flow of air through a mask sealed over the nose and/or mouth to keep the throat splinted open throughout the night. Preventing the throat from narrowing prevents the tissues in the throat from vibrating, thus eliminating the noise caused by snoring.
THE SNORE SHOP ORAL APPLIANCE
For those with favorable dental and jaw health, an Oral Appliance may be useful to pull the lower jaw slightly forward, creating more space in the throat and leading to reduced vibration.
Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea are created by changes in the airway that typically develop over time that restrict the natural flow of air while you breathe. This is often caused by the airway being reduced in size or obstructed all together by a narrowing of the airway at the base of the tongue or the level of the soft palate. Oral Appliance Therapy has been recognized as a useful option to maintain an open airway by restricting the rearward collapse of the tongue during sleep by holding, or advancing, the lower jaw in a more forward position.
The Snore Shop Oral Appliance is a safe and reliable option for many patients suffering from primary snoring, mild to moderate sleep apnea and for patients who fail or reject CPAP therapy. The oral appliance allows for lateral movement, so it is also helpful for those with mild bruxism (or “teeth grinding”).
If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or you snore, an oral appliance may be an appropriate treatment for you. They are comfortable, easy to use, quiet, portable and simple to care for. Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment option that can fit easily into your lifestyle.
Patients interested will first meet with the Snore Shop Dental Coordinator for a free consultation to determine if the oral appliance may be an effective treatment option. If you decide to go forward with the oral appliance you will be scheduled for an appointment to be fitted with a custom trial appliance that you wear with a Home Sleep Testing unit for (1-3 nights). The trial appliance allows us and you a chance to assess before fabricating the final appliance. The trial appliance can be worn for up to a month. Based on the Sleep Test results and your time with the trial appliance, you’ll be fitted for a custom-made final appliance.
There are side effects with oral appliances. With the mouth maintained in an open position all night, some people may experience dry mouth or excessive drooling through the night. This will be common at the beginning, but generally improves. There can also be initial problems with jaw discomfort as you acclimate to therapy, but this should settle with one to two weeks.
The Aveo TSD is designed to treat snoring by keeping your tongue slightly outside of the mouth through the night. TSD stands for “tongue stabilizing device”, so by keeping the tongue in a forward position, it cannot fall back into the throat and cause snoring.
The Aveo TSD is essentially a bulb that suctions onto the end of your tongue. It has small protrusions positioned back from the end of the device that sit in front of the teeth. The tongue will sit outside of the mouth throughout the night. Hypersalivation is common when first using this device, but typically resolves with time. It can take some time to get the right technique to keep the bulb in place throughout the night.
If you have chronic congestion, seasonal allergies, or the occasional head cold, options that help open your nasal passages can reduce snoring and improve sleep.
Sinus cones are an effective way of preventing nasal passage collapse during sleep, and even during exercise. They can be used for long term control of nasal valve collapse. They safely insert into the nostrils, gently dilating the nasal passages and leading to improved nasal airflow. Sinus Cones are manufactured from hypoallergenic materials and come in small, medium and large sizes. With care, they will last about 3 months.
NeilMed Sinus Rinse
The human nose acts as the body’s natural humidifier, heater and filter. Those with medical conditions such as asthma or allergies, or those exposed to dust, mold or smoke regularly may develop nasal congestion. If left untreated, this can eventually lead to chronic issues such as headaches, post nasal drip and congestion.
NeilMed Sinus Rinse is a great way to flush the irritants out of the nose and hydrate the nasal linings. When used daily, it’s a great way to help prevent colds, clean out allergens and take care of your main airway filter. By using the Nettipot or Sinus Rinse squeeze bottle, you will “flush” any irritants, mucus, dust, etc. from your sinuses using a saline solution. Pre-mixed packages of sodium/bicoarbonate mixed with distilled water allow a natural means of clearing your sinuses. Can be used daily to keep sinuses clear.
The staff at the Snore Shop are trained to help you pick the right solution for your needs. Call us for more information.
STOP SNORING NATURALLY
For those who would like to stop snoring but are hesitant to seek medical treatment, there are several natural options available. Solutions involve adopting an overall healthier lifestyle by quitting smoking, losing weight and developing a healthy sleep routine. Other natural remedies such as sleeping on your side, staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol/sedatives and getting moderate exercise can make immediate differences in your sleeping experience.
For those with severe snoring that is not helped by lifestyle modification or other anti-snoring devices, surgery may be an option. Your doctor can refer you to an ENT surgeon for evaluation to determine what procedures you may be a candidate for. Common procedures include using radio frequency energy, removing nasal polyps, correcting a deviated septum, inserting palate implants and performing a uvulectomy. Surgeries involving the upper and/or lower jaw are also possible.
NOTE: Surgery may not be a complete cure to the problem and many patients report still needing anti-snoring devices after surgery.
* doshi, r., westbrook, p. sleep diagnosis and therapy 2012; 7(4) : 1-5.