Generally speaking , the structures involved are the uvula and soft palate. The irregular airflow is caused by a passage blockage and usually due to one of the following causes –
- Obstruction in the nasal passage way
- Mispositioned jaw
- Throat weakness
- Fat gathering in and around throat
- The tissues at the top of airways touching each other causing vibrations
- Use of alcohol or any drug relaxing throat muscles
- Sleeping in one position of Back
- Enlarged Tonsils etc.
Specially made dental appliances called mandibular advancement splints, which advance the lower jaw slightly and thereby pull the tongue forward, are a common mode of treatment for snoring. Typically, a dentist specializing in sleep apnea dentistry is to be consulted. Such appliances have been proven to be effective in reducing snoring and sleep apnea in cases where the apnea is mild to moderate. Mandibular advancement splints are often tolerated much better than CPAP machines. Possible but rare side effects include gradual movement of the teeth, temporo mandibular joint disorders , excess salivation and gum irritation.
The professionally fitted devices generally incorporate an adjustment mechanism so that jaw advancement can be easily increased or decreased after fitting. To adjust the "do it yourself" appliances it is necessary to reheat them and mold them again in the desired new position. Alternatively, given the low cost, a new splint can be used.
A continuous positive airway pressure machine is often used to control sleep apnea and the snoring associated with it. To keep the airway open, a shoebox-sized device pumps a controlled stream of air through a flexible hose to a mask worn over the nose, mouth, or both.
The Surgery is also available as a method of correcting social snoring. Some procedures, such as uvulo palato pharyngo plasty , attempt to widen the airway by removing tissues in the back of the throat, including the uvula and pharynx.
Radio frequency ablation is a relatively new surgical treatment for snoring.
The Pillar Procedure is a minimally invasive treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. This procedure addresses one of the most common causes of snoring and sleep apnea - vibration or collapse of the soft palate (the soft part of the roof of the mouth). If there are other factors contributing to snoring or sleep apnea, such as the nasal airway or an enlarged tongue, it will likely need to be combined with other treatments to be more effective.
A combination of pseudoephedrine and domperidone shows excellent results in the treatment of severe snoring. The preparation is sold over the counter in some countries.
There are various natural methods alleged to alleviate snoring. These can be in the form of herbal pills, acupressure devices or specialized acupuncture.
Change of bed position – There are occasions wherein snoring is the result of wrong sleeping position. Sometimes, sleeping with too many pillows can stretch and narrow the air passage. Use one pillow to avoid it. Also, lying on the back can cause snoring. So, a change in sleeping position can be a good help.
All natural anti snoring sprays are also available. These can come in over-the-counter products available at pharmacies.
Also amongst the 'natural' remedies are exercises to increase the muscle tone of the upper airway.
Try to make a snoring noise. If it is reduced, you are probably a "tongue-base snorer", meaning your tongue is vibrating and causing the problem. If you are a "nose snorer" you snore with a closed mouth, it says.
To summarize , the precautionary measures are :
- Sleep on your side
The theory is that when we lie on our backs the tongue and muscles in the throat collapse, constricting the airway and causing snoring.
- Higher pillows
This aims to keep the airways open by supporting the neck so the throat is less constricted. It works fairly well until you fall asleep and slump down in the bed.
- Breathe Right Nasal Strips
- Snoreeze Oral Strips
- Snoreeze Throat Spray
This lubricates and tones the soft tissues at the back of the throat that vibrate and make you snore.
This is a piece of flexible plastic which you push into your nostrils to make them wider and allow easier breathing. It looks like something from the Spanish Inquisition but users report good results.
- Somno Guard
This is a bit like the gum shield worn by a rugby player, but it is reported to produce good results. The idea is to bring your lower jaw and tongue forward, making more space for breathing. The drawback is that it takes sometime to get used to and is costly.
- Rhynil Herbal Spray
It’s herbal nasal spray shrinks the lining of the nostril, creating more space to breathe. It also tightens the tissue of the roof of the mouth, making it less likely to vibrate. It smells pleasant and a friend who tried it said it reduced snoring significantly.
You should cut down on cigarettes or, better still, give up completely. Also, try to have your last alcoholic drink at least four hours before you go to bed. , and get rid of snoring.
Now have a sound sleep without disturbances !!