Snoring is one of those medical conditions often viewed by sufferers as an unavoidable annoyance they simply have to endure. Around 15% of the population snore most nights, yet many people erroneously believe that there is no treatment available that is actually able to stop snoring completely. Luckily for sufferers (and their bedmates) there are at least 5 snoring solutions that are highly effective in reducing the intensity and frequency of snoring, often to the extent that it is undetectable and no longer affects sleep quality at all. If you snore and you haven’t tried at least a few of these snoring solutions, you are most likely suffering unnecessarily. So read on to discover how your snoring could be treated.
1. Weight Loss
Although patients often hate to hear it, weight loss is one of the most powerfully effective treatments for snoring. Snoring is caused by the partial obstruction of the airway by excessive or loose tissue, which is always more likely to be present in people who are overweight due to excess fatty tissue and poor muscle tone. For many patients, simply losing weight will cause their snoring symptoms to disappear completely. This will have a twofold positive effect on your health; not only will you benefit from losing weight, your sleep quality and oxygen supply will increase from the reduction in snoring, giving you more energy, better moods and a better metabolism, ultimately helping you to keep your weight stable.
Positives: Free, highly effective and with multiple health benefits
Negatives: Can be difficult to achieve and may take a long period of time (other treatments can be used to manage snoring while weight loss is in progress)
2. Positional Therapy
Any spouse of a snorer will tell you that the snoring is always worse when their partner is sleeping on his or her back. This is no coincidence; when you sleep on your back the tissue at the back of your throat relaxes and blocks your airways. If you only snore when you are on your back, you probably only experience mild to medium snoring which can often be treated through positional therapy to prevent you from sleeping on your back. There are a number of devices available to help you sleep in healthier positions without disturbing your sleep or that of your partner. One example is the Night Shift which is worn on the neck and begins to vibrate when you sleep on your back, prompting you to move (much more gently than that sharp elbow to the ribs favoured by the spouses of snorers).
Positives: Cheap and easy to use
Negatives: Only effective for mild to moderate snorers who do not have sleep apnoea
3. Anti Snoring Mouth Guard
The anti snoring mouth guard is a device which works by manually bringing the jaw forward, lifting the soft palate and holding the tongue forward in order to prevent obstruction of the airways. These devices are worn in the mouth during sleep and are very comfortable and (unlike the commonly used CPAP machine) completely silent. Oral appliances are currently the leading treatment for sleep apnoea due to their high (93%) success rate and ease of use. While the internet is bursting at the seams with low quality, mass produced mouth guards, the highly effective Mandibular Advancement Splint mouth guard needs to be customised to suit the mouth of the wearer in order for it to actually work.
Positives: Highly effective, comfortable and silent
Negatives: Must be fitted by a professional and worn every night to prevent snoring
Laser snoring solutions are extremely new to the Australian market but have been used widely and successfully in Europe for a number of years. The treatment uses laser light to strengthen and tighten the tissue at the back of the throat that would otherwise relax and obstruct the airways. Laser snoring treatment is the closest thing to an actual ‘cure’ for snoring, as it removes the physical cause of snoring rather then just controlling it during sleep.
Positives: Pain free, surgery free and no need to wear any device during sleep
Negatives: Maintenance treatments may be required. Efficacy rate is slightly lower than the mouth guard (Dr Mark Levi and world renowned Dr Harvey Shiffman (Florida, USA) get an average improvement of 75% or greater using the NightLase laser treatment (with the Florida protocols)).
5. CPAP Machine
The CPAP machine, or sleep apnoea machine, is the treatment that springs to most people’s minds when they picture snoring solutions. What many people don’t know is just how effective these machines can be in helping people to stop snoring and improving the overall health of mild to severe snorers. The CPAP machine uses mild air pressure (delivered through a mask worn over the face) to keep the airways open. It is typically used to treat people whose snoring is caused by sleep apnoea. While this machine is incredibly effective when used properly, it is not the right choice for everybody, as many people find the noise and discomfort of the machine off-putting and actually prefer the snoring (despite the negative health repercussions).
Positives: The most effective snoring treatment available when used consistently
Negatives: Can disturb sleep through discomfort and noise
Dr Levi is a snoring and sleep apnoea specialist with over 20 years’ experience. Dr Levi’s Sleep Clinic uses the latest technological advancements to offers customised snoring solutions that really work. He has a number of specialists including dieticians, ENTs, psychologists, cardiologists and physicians which he may refer clients to in order to ensure their treatment is holistic and effective. Don’t waste another night of precious sleep – call Dr Levi on (02) 9283 1900 to book a consultation today.