Do Snoring Aids Work?

Snoring can be embarrassing. Waking up every morning next to a bleary-eyed, sleeping partner can lead deep sensations of guilt and depression. But how do you cure the problem? There are hundreds of snoring aids and procedures designed to cure snoring, but do any of them work?

Before answering this question, it is important to understand that people snore differently due to a series of unique combinations.  The Snoring Center focuses predominantly on complete solutions for snoring, sleep apnea, and allergies. Your anatomy has a critical impact on why you snore…and it points to the proper solution to cure your problem.

Snoring remedies come in four categories: lifestyle, surgery, appliances and, finally, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Appliance or CPAP.

Lifestyle changes that can address snoring problems include:

— Changing sleep position: Lying on your back while sleeping can cause the base of your tongue and soft palate to collapse to the back of your throat, creating a vibrating noise. Sleeping on your side can eliminate these problems.

— Lose weight: Weight gain around the neck can decrease the internal diameter of your throat and cause snoring.

— Avoid alcohol and sedatives.

— Practice good sleeping hygiene: don’t wait until you are over-tired to go to sleep.

— Open your nasal passage:  Congestion can lead to snoring. A Neti-pot may help to clear passageways, but if you have a problem such as a deviated septum, only surgery may clear clogged or obstructed nasal passages.

— Avoid allergens: Your pillows can be a repository for all kinds of allergens. Change them periodically.  Also, if you have an overhead fan, be sure to clean it regularly.

— Stay hydrated: Secretions in your nose become sticker when you are dehydrated.  They can cause nasal blockages.

As for surgery, there are several minimally invasive-to-invasive surgical treatments that can address long-term snoring problems. These include:

  • Pillar Procedure: The Pillar Procedure is an effective treatment for snoring and sleep apnea, with small woven implants inserted into the soft palate to improve airflow.
  • Turbinate Coblation: A quick, painless office based procedure to provide relief from congestion, pressure and drainage associated with nasal allergies.
  • Palate Coblation: A fast, affordable procedure to stiffen the soft palate and provide years of relief from disruptive snoring.
  • Laser Tonsillectomy: A cutting-edge, office-based treatment to remove tonsils, providing relief from chronic tonsillitis, tonsil stones and snoring or apnea related to enlarged tonsils.
  • Surgery: Some snoring problems require invasive surgery.

Typical appliances may include:

  • Adhesive strips
  • Oral appliances
  • Anti-snoring pillows
  • Snore-reducing sprays
  • Snoring chin straps

While these can be effective in treating snoring problems in certain patients, Sudhansu Chokroverty, MD, FRCP, FACP, program director for Clinical Neurophysiology and Sleep Medicine at JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J states, “Many stop-snoring aids are marketed without scientific studies to support their claims.” (Source: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/easy-snoring-remedies)

Finally, there is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Appliance or CPAP

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is currently the most effective treatment for sleep apnea. In real life, most people simply cannot tolerate CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). The CPAP machine connects to a mask, which provides a constant flow of air into the mouth and nose, keeping airways open so you can breathe more easily during sleep.

Unfortunately, many patients find the CPAP machine uncomfortable and are unable to wear their mask. Complaints range from discomfort and dry mouth to nasal congestion, skin irritation and nightmares. CPAP is only effective if you wear it.

The first step in curing a snoring problem is consulting a board-certified specialist. Your specific medical condition and anatomy will determine the best course of action for you.

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