Have you ever noticed that snoring seems to be the one habit that everyone denies, and the one habit people are made fun of for? Telling someone that they snore or being told that you snore is immediately followed by denials and/or excuses. “You’re crazy, I don’t snore”, “I only snore when I’m sick”, “if you think I snore you should hear my dad”, or “I don’t snore, you do”. Then there are the jokes and comments, “wow, you sounded like you were cutting down a forest last night”, “do you have a freight train going through your room?”, “between mom and dad it’s like a symphony is in their room each night”. With comments like these it’s no wonder that people deny snoring, become defensive when they are told that they snore, or do whatever they can to stop snoring. The problem is that snoring is an involuntary habit.
What Causes Snoring?
According to a segment and article on NPR, Dr. Kim Hutchison, associate professor of sleep medicine in the department of neurology at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, says that snoring occurs because, “When you sleep, the back of your throat relaxes. That narrows your airway and, as you’re breathing in, it causes it to vibrate.” The narrowing of the airway explains why some people find that they only snore when they are sick or congested or why others find that their snoring is more prevalent when they sleep on their back. However, chronic snorers could be suffering from something more serious than just keeping their partner awake, they could have sleep apnea. According to the Mayo Clinic sleep apnea is, “a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts” and is characterized by loud snoring and not feeling rested after a full night’s sleep. Sleep apnea can have serious effects on a person’s health including high blood pressure, heart problems, and type 2 diabetes.
Snoring doesn’t just affect the snorer. Anyone in the household can be affected; roommates, spouses or children. People joke that they must sleep in a separate bedroom from their spouse because of snoring, but over time that can affect their relationship. If the spouse does not sleep in another room, then their partner’s snoring can also affect their sleep which can hamper their relationship. Therefore, it is important to do what you can, whether you’re the snorer or living with a snorer, to stop snoring.
Not all anti-snoring products and devices are created equal. Some will work, and some won’t, so it is important to know what you’re getting and if it will help you stop snoring. Here is a list of some anti-snoring products that can be locally found and could help you to stop snoring in Idaho Falls:
- CPAP Machine—Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP Machines are commonly used to treat sleep apnea and therefore will stop snoring. They have either a nose piece or a mask that covers the nose and the mouth attached to a hose which connects to a machine. The machine pushes air in a steady flow which forces the airway open. CPAPs treat all aspects of sleep apnea and can eliminate snoring. These machines are easy to use, and their masks can be put on and removed easily and adjusted for comfort. CPAPs provide instant relief to the snorer and their households. Some users have complained about their masks slipping but have found that this can be easily fixed by adjusting their straps. Other users have stated that the constant airflow has dried out their nose or mouth, but by adjusting the air pressure these complaints are usually remedied. Overall, CPAP machines are a favorite of anyone that is affected by snoring and the few downsides are outweighed by the benefits.
- Mute Snore Nose Dilators—Nose dilators are exactly what they sound like. They are a product that you place in your nostrils to dilate or widen your nasal passages. Since snoring comes from closed airways the logic behind nose dilators is sound since they open the air passages in the nose. However, the problem is that most snorers are mouth breathers and their snoring is because of the throat being closed off not the nasal passages. Unless you know for a fact that you are nose breather or are suffering from a deviated septum Mute Snore Nose Dilators may not work for you.
- Chin Straps—An easy and cheap way to try and stop snoring is a chin strap. Chin straps are adjustable and wrap around the head to prevent the mouth from opening. After all, if the mouth can’t open then noise can’t come out. They are easy to use and typically comfortable after you get used to them. The issues that arise from chin straps is that some people are unable to breathe through their nose well enough to get enough air while they sleep, or their snoring simply moves to their nasal passages. Others have complained about an uneasiness which is hard to get used to since they can no longer open their mouths while they sleep. Ultimately, chin straps are a good beginning to stop snoring, but they do not treat the overall cause which can be an issue.
- Oral Appliances—There are numerous oral appliances available today and most of them come with poor reviews. Whether they are the boil and bite models that form to fit your bite or a version that comes in different sizes the complaints are usually the same, they are bulky, uncomfortable and have been proven not to work. However, the same can not be said about custom oral appliances. A custom fabricated appliance can help you stop snoring right away by opening your airway. When worn while sleeping a custom oral appliance holds the lower jaw forward and open which prevents the airway from closing. Custom appliances have also shown a high success rate in treating the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Which Product is Right for You?
With all the anti-snoring products on the market how do you know which one is right for you? To make that determination you need to know why you snore and if it could be a symptom of a larger issue like sleep apnea. The only way to discover this is to consult a sleep professional. With their help you can pinpoint the cause of your snoring and the best way to prevent it from affecting your life and the lives of those you live with. So, before you spend any money on products or devices to help you stop snoring make an appointment with your Idaho Falls sleep professional and stop snoring today.