Snoring affects almost half of all adults.1 For many, snoring is a mildly irritating fact of life; for others, a chronic issue. Snoring is caused by the narrowing and relaxing of airways while you sleep, which leads to audible vibrations. Snoring can also stem from sleeping on your back and allowing the tongue to block your airway. Its sounds are usually harsh and can disrupt sleep.
There are many reasons for snoring. These may include: being severely overweight, consuming alcohol, the anatomy of the sinuses, sleeping positions, colds, and allergies.2 For many, chronic snoring causes a large enough impact on their lives to seek medical help and assistance. There are many snoring solutions that help lessen and even eradicate the impact of chronic snoring on everyday life.
Snoring can disrupt and disturb the sleep quality of those around the snorer, as well as leave the snorer’s throat feeling dry and irritated in the morning. There are several devices that can minimize and even eradicate snoring. These oral appliances all treat snoring, but they function in a slightly different way.
Often, it is optimal to work with a sleep and dental specialist to find an appropriate and properly fitted appliance. Three of the most popular types of oral appliances are mandibular advancement devices (MADs), tongue stabilizing devices (TSDs), and chin straps.3
The mandibular advancement device works by moving the jaw slightly forward, which allows the airways to open, reducing the frequency of vibrations. MADs usually require a physician's prescription to be acquired.
Tongue stabilizing devices work by isolating and preventing the tongue from moving back, in order to create a larger space between the tongue and the back of the throat. TSDs are relatively simple devices that don’t need to be customized and are less invasive than MADs.
Chinstraps are a flexible fabric strap that goes around your head supporting your chin and keeping your mouth closed. This device is for people who are mouth snorers rather than nose snorers. Of these three snoring treatment devices, chinstraps are the cheapest and least invasive.
There are several other over the counter anti-snoring devices, such as nasal dilators. Many of these over-the-counter devices only work for a small percentage of people.4
Severe snoring that results in excessive daytime sleepiness, disrupted sleep, and a hard time focusing is often the result of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In order to find out whether your snoring is caused by sleep apnea, a sleep study may need to be performed by a sleep specialist. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat’s muscles periodically relax during sleep, which causes periods without breathing, often followed by waking.
For mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea, oral devices can work, but for more intense cases positive airway pressure can be a great solution. Continuous air pressure (CPAP) machines are the mostly commonly used type of positive airway pressure. These machines work by providing continuous pressurized air to keep the airways open and prevent snoring. This machine attaches to a face mask that covers either just the nose or nose and mouth.
Using a CPAP for snoring is known to be one of the most effective methods to stop snoring, particularly in people who also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. The continuous flow of air usually stops the airways from narrowing or collapsing preventing the jarring sounds of snoring.
It is inconclusive as to whether nose clips are an effective treatment for snoring. Although these do work for some people, there is no evidence to suggest that this is the most effective anti-snoring device available.
There are many snoring home remedies that you can try in addition to or instead of using an anti-snoring device. To start with, it can help to adjust your lifestyle by exercising, avoiding alcohol and nicotine, and adjusting your sleeping position to avoid sleeping on your back.
The effectiveness of many devices is often dependent on the individual. There are several devices that have offered reprieve from snoring. Some devices are inserted in the mouth to keep the airways open while others are inserted in the nose. If your snoring is caused by sleep apnea then a CPAP machine may be the best option to treat it.
© 2021 American Sleep Association.