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.


STOP SNORING WITH THERAVENT

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.


STOP SNORING WITH CPAP

CPAP Therapy 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. 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.


STOP SNORING WITH ORAL APPLIANCES

For those with favorable dental and jaw health, an oral appliance, such as the Somnoguard AP ,  may be useful to pull the lower jaw slightly forward, creating more space in the throat and leading to reduced vibration.


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.


STOP SNORING WITH SURGERY

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.