How to Stop Snoring
If someone in your bedroom snores, there’s no ignoring it.
Snoring can be irritating to loved ones trying to get some sleep. But it can also be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially serious condition that causes repeated pauses in breathing during the night.
“Snoring and apnea often go hand in hand,” says ear, nose and throat physician Tony Reisman, MD. He explains why it’s important to root out the cause of your snoring — and how to squash the problem so that everyone can get some rest.
What causes snoring?
Anyone — men, women, even children — can snore. “Snoring is actually quite common in kids,” Dr. Reisman says. But it tends to be more common in men and people who are overweight. And it often gets worse as you get older.
Snoring happens when breathing is blocked during sleep. As air tries to push through the soft tissues, they vibrate — causing the telltale honks and snorts that make your significant other threaten to banish you from the bedroom.
Some people are just natural-born snorers. But often, snoring is caused by an underlying condition, such as:
- Structural problems in the nose, like a deviated septum.
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids.
- Chronic congestion and stuffiness.
Snoring and sleep apnea
Snoring by itself isn’t harmful. But it can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep disorder causes you to stop breathing for a few seconds at a time, over and over, night after night.
If you have sleep apnea, you likely wake up after a night’s sleep still feeling tired. You might be drowsy during the day and have trouble concentrating at work or school. Some people nod off during the day, increasing the risk of car crashes or work-related accidents.
For people with sleep apnea, treating snoring is a matter of health. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems, including:
- High blood pressure.
- Heart problems, including heart failure and heart attacks.
Home remedies for snoring: How to stop snoring naturally
There are several ways to address snoring, depending on what’s causing it. Some at-home remedies include:
Work toward a healthy weight
“Extra weight is one of the primary causes of snoring in both children and adults,” Dr. Reisman says. During sleep, fatty tissue in the neck can press on the throat, blocking the airways when the throat muscles relax. Losing weight can literally take the pressure off.
In people with chronic nasal congestion, medications like antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays can help you breathe easy — and turn down the dial on the nighttime noise.
Change your position
Try propping up the head of your bed. And snoozing on your side instead of your back may also cause less snoring. (Weird but true: Some people swear by sewing a tennis ball to the back of their shirt to keep them from rolling onto their back at night.)
Open your nose
Opening your nasal passages at night can help cut down on snoring. Adhesive nasal strips placed on the bridge of the nose lift your nostrils open to improve airflow. Another option is nasal dilators, which you insert into the nostrils to expand the nasal opening. Both strips and dilators are inexpensive and easy to find at the drugstore.
Doctor-approved ways to stop snoring
If tennis balls and nasal strips don’t do the trick — or if you have symptoms of sleep apnea — talk to your doctor about these proven remedies that address both snoring and apnea:
Get fitted for an oral appliance
An oral appliance can bring you snoring relief. These mouthguard-style devices hold the lower jaw forward while you sleep — a posture that helps the airway stay open.
Though some over-the-counter varieties are available, Dr. Reisman recommends going to a dentist or oral surgeon for an appliance customised for your mouth. “A badly fitting appliance can strain the jaw and trade one problem for another,” he says.
An oral appliance is a device worn in the mouth only during sleep. The device fits similar to a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and prevents the airway from collapsing by either supporting the tongue or jaw in a forward position, thereby opening the airway.
With a custom fitted oral appliance, we can help minimise or eliminate the symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing. Sleep apnoea (in mild to moderate cases) including loud snoring, gasping and unpleasant noises.
The device can also act as an alternative treatment for patients (on medical advice only) who have been prescribed CPAP by their medical consultant, finding it difficult to adhere to this therapy for management of their sleep apnoea condition.
How does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?
Oral appliances hold the lower jaw in a forward position, dilates the upper airway and preventing it from collapsing. This helps to:
- eliminate or reduce snoring noise levels
- improve sleep quality and general energy levels on wakening
- treat sleep apnoea disease progression
- improves bed partners sleep quality of life.
The Beacon Dental Clinic provide the following additional services
- Referral from consultant led medical diagnosis of sleep disordered breathing, noisy loud snoring and suspected sleep apnoea.
- CBT referral or medical advice for sleep disorder management.
- Dietician and weight management referral if indicated.
- Dental health care education.
- Dental Hygienist service and dental health care education
- Advanced restorative prosthodontic care
- Routine in office dental healthcare
Process of our Oral Appliance Therapy Program
If you are referred to the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic by a medical consultant, we will then assess your suitability for Oral Appliance Therapy. This will involve a dental examination, an x-ray evaluation and trial lower jaw advancement as indicated. Specific smart phone apps will be recommended to assist in the collection of sleep related noise and disturbances so as to assist in overall management.
If you have not been refereed by a medical practitioner we will assist you with the appropriate assessment and arrange any necessary referral or further investigation as part of your overall management.
In the Treatment phase, you will be fitted with an oral appliance by an experienced restorative dentist with expertise in the field of dental sleep medicine, who will control and monitor your progress and response to treatment. All patients of the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic are seen one week and one month following initial appliance delivery. You will also be provided with clear instructions as to the best use and care of your oral appliance.
Follow up appointments
Following habituation to appliance wearing nightly we will arrange (if necessary) for further evaluation of the efficacy of the therapy. This will involve specific user friendly overnight home based testing with sensor technology. This will be activated through a straightforward phone app download.
All patients with sleep apnoea diagnosis are referred back at this stage to their medical consultant for evaluation. The oral appliance is re-evaluated at the Beacon Dental Clinic at specified internals to evaluate its mechanical integrity and performance.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Dentists have pioneered the use of oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep apnoea and sleep related breathing disorders. An oral appliance is a device worn in the mouth only during sleep. The device fits like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and prevents the airway from collapsing by either holding the tongue or supporting the jaw in a forward position. With an oral appliance, dentists can minimise or eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnoea in mild to moderate cases.
For further information on Sleep Apnoea Treatment, contact us today
Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic is based in the Beacon Dental Clinic, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Dublin, D18 E7P4, Ireland
Tel: +353 1 213 5644 | Fax: +353 1 213 5645 | Email: email@example.com