Most all of us have experience with snoring and the sleepless nights it can bring, whether the snorer is your bed partner…or you! Snoring happens when the muscles in the back of our throat relax, narrowing our airway. The air we breathe into this narrower space causes our soft palate to vibrate, which makes the sound that we associate with snoring. Snoring can be the result of a variety of anatomical abnormalities as well as allergies, sinusitis, sleeping position, alcohol consumption, or obesity.
Why is Snoring Bad?
In addition to making it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep (for you or your bed partner!) snoring can cause problems throughout the day including concentration difficulties, exhaustion, high blood pressure, a suppressed immune system, and even heart attack or stroke. Snoring can also cause obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially fatal condition. That’s why it’s best to have all snoring evaluated by a healthcare professional, even if you plan to use an over the counter product.
What do OTC products do?
Over the counter snoring products abound, but which ones actually work? Some devices force sleepers to stay on their sides instead of their back, which can help cut down on snoring. Others are aimed at opening the airway, like mouthpieces or hollow nose plugs that prop the nostrils open. Chin straps can work to reposition your jaw in a way that opens the airway, and can be very effective for some- but make sure you never buy a product that covers your mouth. Other devices, like wristbands, can send a small electric shock every time you snore.
Do they really work?
Yes and no. Some devices are very effective at stopping snoring, but be cautious: it’s important to ensure that you are treating not just your snoring but also any problems associated with it. CPAP machines, for example, are very effective at keeping airways open and eliminating problems- but you can’t get them without a visit to your doctor. It’s important to talk with a professional to figure out the severity of your snoring and the type of products that are right for you.
For more information about snoring solutions, call Marvel Clinic at 931-230-7056.