Snoring is a problem that affects a significant percentage of individuals all over the world. This condition reduces the quality of sleep of the person who snores as well as those around them. Snoring can lead to several problems including sleep apnea and mild exhaustion during the day. Herein is a comprehensive overview of how to stop snoring and things you need to know about this disorder.
WHAT IS SNORING AND WHAT CAUSES IT?
On the most basic level, snoring is a symptom and sign of airway obstruction. It is included in the category of sleep-related breathing disorders. The airway obstruction results in the production of significant levels of noise during sleep. Vibrations that occur in the soft tissues or muscles in the air passages as we breathe cause the sound.
Snoring mostly happens in two parts of the upper airway, the soft palate and the back of your tongue. The soft palate is part of the roof of the back of your mouth. Snoring originating from the back of your tongue (throat) involves either the tonsils or the uvula. In some cases, snoring can be caused by a defect in the nose.
SNORING TREATMENT OPTIONS
- SNORE STOP LASER TREATMENT
The Snore Stop Laser treatment is an advanced non-invasive in-clinic procedure offered at Academy Laser Clinics. This method serves to tackle the primary cause of snoring and sleep apnea. The Snore Stop laser procedure is performed with a V2LR Carbon Dioxide laser.
The CO2 laser delivers thousands of concentrated light beams (DOTS) onto the soft palate. This technology produces maximum heat that stimulates the regeneration and tightening of the mucosal surfaces. The result is a tighter and shorter soft palate. A reduced soft palace ensures minimal vibrations while sleeping thus reducing the intensity of snoring.
The procedure is fast and straightforward, taking approximately 15 minutes to complete. Academy Laser Clinics recommends four treatments stretched over a period of three months for optimal effectiveness. Some patients may notice improvements shortly following the procedure.
However, patients will exhibit improved tissue compactness about a month after the first treatment. The Snore Stop laser snoring solution produces incredible results that last for up to a year or more. The expected results will vary depending on the cause and severity of the snoring or sleep apnea.
- POSITIONAL THERAPY
In many cases, snoring intensity increases when you sleep on your back. If this is your position of choice, you should consider sleeping on your side. Positional therapy is essential methods employed to ensure you sleep on your side instead of your back. There are numerous ways and devices to assist with positional treatment, and they work differently.
Some devices can be worn around the neck and vibrate when you begin to sleep on your back. The vibrations’ intensity changes until you change position. Such tools can be useful in training you on how to sleep on your side. A more straightforward option for positional therapy is a pillow and a tennis ball.
Place the pillow between your knees as you sleep on your side. Alternatively, you can sew the tennis ball to the back of your sleeping garment. This tactic will halt you from the incidences of rolling over on to your back. You can use positional therapy in conjunction with other snoring remedies.
- CONTINUOUS POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE
Continuous airway pressure is a form of therapy that is used to treat individuals with heavy snoring that may cause sleep apnea. CPAP devices increase the air pressure in your throat. This pressure ensures that your airway will not collapse while you sleep. There are many different options for masks that you can use with the CPAP device. These include nasal, oral and the full face masks.
Having a CPAP device needs a prescription from a physician following a heavy snoring or sleep apnea diagnosis.
- EXPIRATORY POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE
Expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP) is a treatment option for the snoring that usually functions by the use of one’s breathe to facilitate the creation of positive pressure inside the throat. This pressure keeps your air passages stable and open from the inside, thus preventing airway collapse and snoring. An EPAP device has been proven to treat snoring immediately upon application.
It comes in an easy-to-use nasal strip that you wear comfortably over your nostrils. The pieces are quite discreet. They contain very small micro-valves that control the amount of airflow in and out of your nasal passages. When you exhale, the valves close slightly. This creates a gentle pressure in the throat to keep your air passages open and free of vibrations.
- WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
Excessive tissue around your throat can cause your airway to narrow, making snoring more likely. For those individuals who prefer sleeping on their backs, the excess weight on the stomach and chest can cause increased pressure in the air passages. The strain pushes the tongue back leading to the likelihood of snoring.
Excess weight aggravates snoring that is already present in the affected individuals. According to the National Health Foundation, the noted increase in obesity has also resulted in an increase in the number of people with sleep apnea and snoring problems. Weight management through the adoption of a healthy diet and regular exercise routine can be beneficial if this is the case.
- SMOKING CESSATION
In case you have a habit of smoking, it is beneficial to quit since that will help with your snoring problems. The smoke that comes from cigarettes and cigars can cause inflammation along the tissues that line your air passages. These are the same tissues that vibrate when you snore.
The tissues can swell and lead to the narrowing of your throat. A narrowed throat makes it harder to breather and makes you more likely to snore. The nicotine also causes insomnia and poor sleep habits in general.
- MOUTH GUARDS AND CHIN STRAPS
Mouthpieces and mouth guards reduce snoring by moving your lower jaw forward, thus opening the back of your throat. A more specific mouthpiece, called a Tongue Stabilizing Device, holds your tongue so that it doesn’t fall in the back of the throat. Such devices are very effective against snoring.
Chin straps work similarly to the mouth guards. They align your jaw in such as way that can reduce or stop snoring. A chinstrap is designed like a sling for your head that keeps your mouth closed and your jaw in the correct position.
- REDUCE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Consumption of alcohol can lead the muscles relaxing more than usual in the throat as you sleep. The relaxed muscles are more likely to vibrate thus resulting in snoring. The best way to avoid this side effect is to stop consuming alcohol before going to bed.
Surgical options are often the last option when all other options prove ineffective. Surgical methods usually involve the manipulation of the nasal passage, tongue, tonsils or uvula to eliminate snoring.
The techniques employed include deviated septum correction, radio frequency energy and nasal polyp removal, tonsillectomy and laser turbinectomy. It is considered a last resort since it may cause discomfort and require several weeks of recovery, not to mention the potentially high cost.