Non-Surgical Treatments to Stop Snoring
There are several non-surgical treatments that help stop snoring such as:
- Antisnoring apps
- Dental devices
- Antisnoring devices such as CPAP
- Over-the-counter (OTC) antisnoring devices
- Behavioral therapies
Snoring is a sound that occurs when sleeping as airflow causes the tissues in the back of the throat to vibrate. The sound of snoring usually occurs as you inhale, and it can happen any time while you sleep. Half the population snores at some point, though snoring is more common in men than women, it can run in families, and it happens more frequently as we age.
There are a number of causes for snoring.
There are several non-surgical treatments that help stop snoring such as:
Snoring can be a symptom of common conditions such as allergies or asthma. But it also can be a symptom of a serious medical condition called obstructive sleep apnea in which a person stops breathing intermittently during sleep. A person with sleep apnea may snore loudly or make choking noises as they try to breathe. The body becomes deprived of oxygen, and a person may wake up from it. When severe, this can happen hundreds of times during the night or when sleeping at other times during the day. Sleep apnea is associated with a higher risk for
If you're living with someone who snores, the first step is making sure they know they snore (if they are not awakened by their own snoring they may not be aware of it). Next encourage them to visit a doctor to diagnose and treat the underlying cause. You also can help your partner track their snoring habits if the doctor needs a sleep journal. They may try some of the home remedies mentioned previously to stop snoring.
In the meantime, sharing a bed with a snorer can be exhausting. To take care of yourself:
Many kinds of doctors treat snoring, depending on the underlying cause. You may first consult your primary care provider (PCP) such as a family practitioner or internist, or a child's pediatrician.
For further testing and management of snoring or sleep disorders such as sleep apnea you may be referred to a sleep medicine specialist.
Allergies may be treated by an allergist, and asthma may be treated by a lung specialist (pulmonologist) or respiratory therapist. If you have nasal deformities such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps you may see an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT, or otolaryngologist), and if you require removal of your tonsils or adenoids you may be referred to a general surgeon.
Sometimes an oral appliance is helpful to help stop the snoring. This may be fitted by a dentist.
The diagnosis of the underlying cause of snoring will depend on the symptoms and the suspected reason for the snoring. The doctor will start by asking about allergies, medications, and whether you drink alcohol or smoke. The mouth, nose, and throat will be examined to see if there are any physical deformities that may be the cause of the snoring.
If sleep apnea is suspected, you may be asked about whether you wake up gasping for breath, if you fall asleep during the day, if your partner notices you snore loudly or stop breathing while you sleep, and if your sleep is not refreshing. You may need to keep a diary of your sleep habits and snoring.
A sleep study may be necessary to monitor your sleep patterns and diagnose whether you have sleep apnea or any other sleep disorder.
Once you have ruled out sleep apnea as the cause of your snoring, the next step is figuring out how to stop snoring. There are some home remedies and behavior changes that may help reduce or eliminate snoring:
When snoring is caused by obstructive sleep apnea, a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is often prescribed. This machine uses air pressure to keep the airways open while you sleep so you do not stop breathing, and it is an effective non-surgical treatment for sleep apnea. There are a few variations of CPAP devices:
An anti-snoring mouthpiece may be a viable treatment for snoring. Many people snore because airflow as you breathe causes the tissues in the back of your throat to vibrate. Anti-snoring aids such as mouthpieces (also called mouth guards or night guards) help bring the jaw forward to widen the back of the airway, allowing air to pass through without resistance, stopping snoring. Sometimes, these mouthpieces can stop snoring immediately, the first time they are used. There are two main types of anti-snoring mouthpieces:
A chinstrap will not help reduce snoring. A study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that a chinstrap does not improve sleep disordered breathing and is ineffective in improving snoring.
It's important to avoid foods that may trigger or increase snoring. For example, if you have food allergies, avoid these foods as they may cause inflammation in your mouth and throat, restricting the airway and leading to snoring. Alcohol is a relaxant, and it relaxes the muscles in the back of the throat, which can increase the blockage of the throat and make it harder for air to pass through. Foods you might try to help reduce snoring include:
Medical treatments for snoring include assistive breathing devices such as the CPAP. Sometimes, surgery may be required. If snoring is due to a deviated septum, nasal polyps or other nasal deformities, surgery can correct these problems. Surgery also can reduce bulky tissue in the throat or alter bone structure to reduce or cure your snoring. Types of surgery that may be performed to cure causes of snoring include:
Snoring can be prevented by preventing the underlying cause.
American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. "Snoring and Sleep Apnea."
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Sleep Apnea - Overview & Facts."
Snoring - Overview and Facts. 2014.
Al-Delaimy, W. K., et al. "Snoring as a Risk Factor for Type II Diabetes Mellitus: A Prospective Study." American Jnl of Epidemiology 2001;Vol:155, Issue 5Pp. 387-393. 4 September 2001.
American Sleep Assoociation. Snoring Mouthpiece. 2016.
Ha, Yoona. "Finding The CPAP Mask That Works For You: Pros, Cons, and Mask Types." Apr 07, 2016. American Association of Sleep Technologists.
Bhat, S. et al. "The efficacy of a chinstrap in treating sleep disordered breathing and snoring." J Clin Sleep Med 2014;10(8):887-892
National Sleep Foundation. "Partners and Sleep." Spring 2005.
Sleep Clinic. Surgical "Treatments For Snoring And Apnoea."
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