Even though a bad snorer may sound like a motorboat speeding over the waves, the truth is that snoring is caused by obstructed breathing, and obstruction can lead to serious problems. Snoring disturbs sleeping patterns and deprives the snorer of much needed rest. When snoring is severe, it can cause serious, long-term health problems, including obstructive sleep apnea not to mention disturbing the peace and quiet in the bedroom. Simple changes, such as losing weight or sleeping on your side, can help as well as more drastic measures such as surgery. The following is a list of some of the best treatments to help with snoring problems.
Surgery is often used for treating snoring caused by obstructive sleep apnea. Different types of TAP (Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty) include bipolar cautery, laser, and radiofrequency.
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) tightens flabby tissues in the throat and palate, and widens air passages.
- Laser Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty (LAUP) treats snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea by removing the obstruction in the airway. A laser is used to vaporize the uvula and a specified portion of the palate. Removing excess tissue enlarges your airway and reduces vibration.
- Radiofrequency-assisted uvulopalatoplasty or RAUP. Instead of a laser, thermal energy is used under local anesthesia to scar and shrink the soft tissue in the back of the throat.
- Genioglossus and hyod advancement is a surgical procedure that prevents collapse of the lower throat and pulls the tongue muscles forward, thereby opening the obstructed airway.
- Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy treats snoring caused by problems with tonsils and adenoids. Often found in children.
If surgery is too risky or unwanted here are some non surgical ways to treat snoring:
- Use a nasal mask that delivers air pressure into the throat called a continuous positive airway pressure or “CPAP”. The mask is attached to a small pump that forces air through your airway to keep it from collapsing. CPAP eliminates snoring but many people find it cumbersome and uncomfortable.
- Change your sleep posture. Snoring is especially loud when you sleep on your back. Various pillows and strap-on devices will force you to sleep in the right position.
- Throat sprays coat the soft tissues of the throat with lubricating oils, allowing the air to move more freely and lessening the noisy vibration.
- Open up nasal passages with the following items including adhesive strips which hold open the airways of your nose, plastic devices to hold open your nostrils, and nasal sprays which reduce congestion or the swelling of nasal tissues. These methods will enhance your breathing.
- Mouthpiece devices are available often custom-fitted by your dentist which pulls the lower jaw and tongue forward, making more room at the back of the throat.
Oftentimes snoring can be helped with lifestyle changes but if you have concerns about snoring you should contact your doctor or dentist for a complete evaluation to discuss the snoring treatments available and to decide which might be the best methods to stop your snoring now.