Snoring could be an indication of sleep apnoea, a potentially life-threatening condition in which normal breathing is obstructed. If you snore at night, although you may not be aware of it, every time you stop breathing, it causes you to wake up gasping for air. This clears the obstruction and helps you to start breathing and you fall off to sleep again without realising what just happened. This continuous breathing obstruction and sleep-wake pattern can lead to several adverse effects including extreme fatigue and sleepiness during the day, trouble concentrating, irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure.
If your partner has told you that you snore or you’ve noticed any of the typical sleep-apnoea symptoms, it is important to consult with a sleep specialist to who will recommend the appropriate cure. In order to do that however, the sleep specialist will first have to identify the exact cause of the snoring.
Step 1: Have A Home Sleep Study Done
Everyone snores for different reasons. In some people it could be because of excessive throat or nasal tissue, in others it could be because of sinus problems, being overweight, sleeping position, smoking, alcohol or old age.
Doing a sleep study is the best way to establish the exact reason behind your snoring. While this sleep study can be done in a lab or at home, home sleep testing is the recommended option as it is much cheaper and it allows you to get it done in the comfort of your own bed. It is particularly beneficial for the elderly and disabled who are mobility impaired and require specialised care
Carrying out a home sleep study is simple. It involves wearing a simple device that you put on just before you go to bed.
Step 2: Get A Sleep Expert to Evaluate The Study & Recommend Treatment
You need to wear the device for one night only. The next day you remove it and take it to the sleep specialist who will assess and interpret the data, obtain a proper diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Step 3: Get A MAS Device Custom Designed For You
Several studies have shown that wearing an MAS or Mandibular Advancement Splint device is the safest and most effective way to overcome sleep apnoea. This is a tiny device that is made of acrylic and resembles an athlete’s mouth guard. A mandibular advancement splint device is designed in such a way that when it is placed over the mouth, the jaw and the tongue are pushed downwards. This opens up your airways and clears all potential breathing obstructions so that you do not snore while sleeping.
Once the cause of your snoring has been established, the sleep specialist will recommend an appropriate MAS device and take measurements of your mouth to custom design a piece that fits perfectly for best results.