Snoring is a health hazard and an inconvenience for both the snorer, and his or her spouse. Many individuals will turn to surgery in a desperate attempt to cure the snoring, but non-surgical treatments are available.
While undertaking any non-surgical cure for snoring, it’s vital to establish a baseline to measure the effectiveness of the treatment. This can be a rather difficult and time-consuming task. Those with willing partners to help them can ask for feedback as to whether or not they notice an improvement once a cure is under way. Those who live alone can make nightly recordings to monitor the effectiveness of any treatments they try.
Medical treatments fall into three groups. The first works to stimulate respiration, the second opens the airways and the third works to prevent the patient from entering REM sleep. All periods of sleep have been proven to benefit health and well being, so one must question the validity of taking a drug that interferes with natural sleep patterns.
Some over-the-counter decongestant inhalers can be beneficial in maintaining nasal passageways open. Simple saline nasal sprays will work to keep the mucous membranes moist and unclogged, thus lessening vibration noise.
People who sleep on their backs are more likely to snore; so several devices have been designed to manipulate the sleeping position.
Specially designed pillows, in fact, force the snorer to sleep on his or her side. Snoring balls can be helpful if you try sleeping on your side but always roll to your back. This tiny wonder is sewn into a pocket on the back of a pyjama shirt, making it uncomfortable to sleep on your back. Snoring balls can be bought in stores, or fashioned from materials readily available in the home. Also available are sleep position monitors. These electronic devices emit a beeping warning when the sleeper rolls from back to side. The principle is that the snorer becomes conditioned to sleeping on his or her side.
Nasal strips normally applied externally to the nose will act to widen the nasal passages. Athletes also use nasal strips to enhance their respiratory efficiency. Another device, a dilator, is based on the same principle. This metal or plastic coil is inserted into the nostrils before sleep, keeping the nasal passages open during sleep. Both of these gadgets tend to cut down on the vibratory noise of snoring.
There is a huge market of appliances invented to help desperate snorers. Other choices include tongue trainers, oral appliances, and even a little device that emits an electric shock when it senses snoring.
Food allergies or intolerances and diet can also contribute to snoring. Allergies can cause mucous membranes to become congested and inflamed. The congestion obstructs the airway and snoring occurs. Some persons have reported that avoiding dairy products can improve snoring, while others have found that vitamin C can worsen their situation.
Weight is, of course, another contributing factor to snoring. There is a direct link between obesity and snoring or even excess weight. Once other underlying factors can be ruled out, weight loss should be the first treatment considered for snoring. Of course, reduced snoring is only one of numerous benefits you’ll receive from attaining a healthy weight.
Finally, avoiding sedatives and alcohol can greatly improve a snoring problem, as these substances can cause tissues to relax and block the airways.
While immediate surgery might seem like the option to a snorer, or a snorer’s bedmate, there are many alternative treatments to consider before going under the knife. Ask your doctor which treatment method might be best for you.
Filed under: Snoring