How to Stop Snoring: 11 Treatments Available
Snoring is a common problem for people of all ages and gender. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it affects approximately 90 million American adults, with 37 million snoring on a regular basis.
Most people who are at risk are overweight individuals. Snoring can also become a serious problem as you age. It can cause disruptions to your sleep and can lead to fragmented and unrefreshing sleep.
To prevent further complications, treating snoring is a must. What are the snoring remedies that work? Let’s discuss the several options to treat and end snoring.
It is possible to treat snoring by making changes in your lifestyle. It is usually advised as the first step to treat snoring. These lifestyle changes involve avoiding alcohol and smoking, losing weight, and practicing a good sleep hygiene.
Avoiding alcohol and smoking
Drinking alcohol makes you, including your body, relax. Alcohol reduces the muscles’ resting tone in the back of your throat, making it more likely for you to snore. Once your throat relaxes too much, the airway starts to become smaller, resulting in getting less air while you sleep. The air that you get is being pushed in and out, hard enough that can make things to vibrate causing snoring.
If you are a smoker and snorer at the same time, quitting or laying off smoking can help. Smoking is another cause of snoring. The smoke that you inhale can irritate everything that it touches. These irritations can cause the airway to become smaller.
Putting a stop to drinking alcohol and smoking can stop relaxing your throat tissues, and prevent irritating your nose and throat that can cause snoring.
Losing weight is one of the best things to do. If you are overweight or obese, there can be extra fat in your neck that is putting pressure on your airway. This extra fat can squeeze the internal diameter of the throat, making it collapse during sleep that triggers snoring. Losing weight can get rid of this extra fat that causes snoring.
Practicing a good sleep hygiene
Maintaining poor sleep hygiene can have the same effects as drinking alcohol and smoking. When you work longer hours without enough sleep and you finally hit the sack, you are already overtired, resulting in hard and deep sleep. This can cause your muscles to become floppier, creating snoring. Getting a consistent sleep schedule can help to keep you from snoring.
If changing your lifestyle does not help, anti-snoring devices can help prevent snoring. These devices are mainly oral appliances made by a dentist experienced in treating snoring.
Nasal dilators or nasal strip can benefit you if your snoring is coming from the nose.
A nasal dilator is a device made of plastic or metal that looks like a nose ring. This is placed inside the nose before going to sleep. It pushes the nostrils apart as you sleep.
Meanwhile, a nasal strip is a small piece of adhesive tape that looks like a sticking plaster. A nasal strip is placed outside the nose before you go to sleep. This strip pulls your nostrils apart, helping them to stop narrowing as you sleep.
A chin strip or vestibular shield is used if your snoring is coming from your mouth.
A vestibular shield is an anti snore plastic device resembling the appearance of a gum shield. It can fit inside your mouth to block the flow of air. It also forces you to breathe through the nose as you sleep to prevent you from opening your mouth and snore.
A chin strip is a strip of tape placed under the chin to stop your mouth from falling open as you asleep.
Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD)
If your snoring comes from the base of your tongue that is vibrating, a mandibular advancement device may be recommended by your doctor.
A MAD is another snoring device similar to a vestibular shield. However, it is designed to push the tongue and jaw forward. This can increase the space at the back of your throat and can reduce the narrowing of the airway that causes the tongue to vibrate, resulting in snoring.
Anti-snoring devices are used if lifestyle modifications did not work. These devices can provide relief for snorers by separating the vibrating parts of the nose, mouth, and throat.
When lifestyle changes and using oral devices don’t work, the next snoring treatment is surgery. Surgery is usually the last resort when all the other treatment options have not worked.
The key to snoring surgery is to know what is causing the snoring. There are different types of surgery treatments that can be made to correct snoring.
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is a surgical procedure used if the soft tissues in your mouth (excluding the tongue) are responsible for your snoring.
During UPPP, the uvula or the piece of tissue that hangs from the roof of the mouth, some of your soft palates, and some of the excess tissues around the base of the throat are removed. In some cases, the tonsils and adenoids can also be removed.
UPPP is performed under general anesthetic so you will be asleep during the surgery and you will be unable to feel the pain or discomfort but can cause considerable pain after the surgery.
Uvulopalatoplasty or laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty procedure (LAUP) is used as an alternative to UPPP due to its lower risk. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia without sedation. It involves the combination of tissue removal and tightening.
The aim of UP is to increase the airway size without compromising your normal functions like breathing, speaking, and swallowing. The research Efficacy of Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty concluded that LAUP is an effective method when treating non-apneic snoring but does not provide sufficient resolution when it comes to obstructive sleep apnea.
Soft palate implants
If your snoring does not cause breathing difficulties and the soft palate is causing it, soft palate implants can be performed.
This procedure involves a local anesthetic to numb the roof of the mouth. Several synthetic implants are injected in the palate to stiffen it. This can help in preventing the soft palate from vibrating as you sleep.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
An alternative treatment of soft palate implants is radiofrequency ablation (RFA). This procedure is used to treat cases when the soft palate vibrations are responsible for snoring. It also aims to stiffen the soft palate.
The roof of the mouth is numbed using a local anesthetic and an electrode is implanted in the soft palate tissue. This electrode delivers high-energy radio waves that can shrink and Harden the soft palate tissue, making it less likely to vibrate as you snooze.
Tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy is another surgery performed to treat snoring. The common cause of snoring, particularly in children, is enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Tonsillectomy in children is a common procedure suggested by doctors. If the enlarged tonsils block the airway during sleep and cause snoring, tonsillectomy can be suggested.
In this procedure, an outpatient surgery is performed under general anesthetics to remove the tonsils and adenoids. It is utilized to remove the chronically infected tonsils and enlarged tonsils causing snoring.
There are several options available to treat snoring. A careful procedure is important for the success of these options. Talk to a medical professional, like a dentist specializing in sleep disorders to get an evaluation and treatment analysis that can work best for you.