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Stopping Snoring and Sleep Apnea - A guide to the latest medical treatments.

Stop Snoring

What is snoring?

Snoring is sound made by the vibration of tissues in the mouth, nose and throat during breathing, usually whilst asleep. It is an involuntary process and cannot be cured, although there exist many treatments which may bring relief for come sufferers.

Snoring may be laughed out by people who don't have to sleep with sufferers, but it can be a real problem, causing a deleterious effect on relationships.

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring can have a number of causes, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Not taking sufficent exercise
  • Drugs or alcohol, including sleeping tablets.
  • Nasal congestion
  • Small nostrils
  • Sleeping on your back.
  • Sleeping with your mouth open and breathing through it.
  • Your tongue dropping to the back of your mouth, temporarily blocking your airway.

How Can I Stop Snoring?

Ideally, you will need to find the cause of your snoring and eliminate it. For example, if you have small nostrils or nostrils that collapse inwards easily, a nasal dilator such as Breathe EZ may bring relief. If the reasons that you snore are related to your tongue or breathing through your mouth, a mouth piece "Mandibular Device" may bring relief.

If you are overweight it would be a good idea to lose weight, not only to reduce or eliminate your snoring problem, but also to aid your health in general.

What are the latest medical treatments for snoring?

The latest treatments include:

  • snoring treatment Bipolar RFITT radio frequency treatmentBipolar RFITT radio frequency treatment.
    This involves numbing the back of the throat area with a local anaesthetic. The area is then targetted with a pen-like device that emits radio waves and heats the area up to 60°C. The effect of this is that the muscle in the soft palate contracts, scars and tightens. It continues to do this for up to 6 months after treatment, which is when you will see the most benefit. The treatment only lasts a few minutes and you can return to your normal life immediately afterwards.

  • Laser Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)
    This is a procedure where excess soft tissue on the uvula (the "dibber" that hangs down in the back of the mouth) is removed. With the excess tissue removed, the uvula no longer vibrates and more oxygen enters the airways during sleep, leading to a better night's sleep and the corresponding benefits that this brings. This treatment may also be successful in cases of sleep apnea (see below).

    snoring / sleep apnea before laser assisted uvuloplasty
    snoring / sleep apnea uvula after LAUP
    Appearance of uvula before treatment Appearance of uvula after treatment

  • Treatment for blocked nasal passages
    Having a tendency towards a blocked nose at night can also lead to snoring. Laser surgery can be used reduce fleshy ridges in the nose or correct a deviated septum (the septum is the fleshy tissue that separates the two nostrils). This is a minor procedure and you can return to work straight afterwards.

If you are interested in any of the above three procedures, you can get a free consultation at The Private Clinic, a private clinic registered with the Healthcare Commission with branches in London's Harley Street and Manchester. They also have treatments available for sleep apnea.

What is sleep apnea (sometimes spelt apnoea)?

Sleep apnea is a relatively common disorder where breathing is interrupted whilst you are asleep. The interuption in breathing can last for up to 10 seconds and is rarely caused by a sluggish respiratory system, but more frequently caused by an obstruction in the soft tissues.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include not feeling refreshed when you wake up, tiredness during the day, headaches and a lack of concentration - i.e. the symptoms of not having sufficient sleep.

Where Can I Find Further Information?

Further information on both snoring and sleep apnea (stopping breathing whilst asleep) can be found on the BBC web site.

 

NoSnor
- A mouth piece that may stop or reduce snoring, with a money back guarantee.
Breathe EZ
- A device that clips onto the end of the nose designed to provide relief from snoring.
All Ear Plugs
- Ear plugs available for many purposes including noise reduction, water protection and children. Also wax away earwax remover and a satin eyeshade.