How to cure snoring without surgery
Each patient agrees to spend a lot of effort and money to avoid surgical treatment of snoring. Some measures do make things better, while others are just a waste of time and money.
Change your lifestyle
Patients constantly hear from doctors that it is important to get rid of bad habits for recovery. But uncomplicated snoring can really be completely forgotten with just a little lifestyle adjustments.
Harmful substances from tobacco smoke cause irritation and swelling of the pharyngeal mucosa. Swelling, tissues narrow the lumen, which leads to snoring and apnea. Therefore, it is obvious that you will not be able to get rid of sleep problems without quitting smoking. However, it takes much longer to get rid of the addiction than to acquire it. Here’s what you can do today:
- reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke as much as possible;
- if possible, switch to electronic cigarettes;
- smoke your last cigarette of the day no later than 2 hours before bedtime;
- if you cannot quit smoking before bedtime, then rinse your throat well for 30 seconds with olive oil – it will remove cigarette smoke products from the mucous membrane.
Over time, the smoker develops a chronic inflammatory process of the pharynx. Therefore, it is best to get rid of the addiction as soon as possible.
Don’t drink alcohol before bed.
People with insomnia often try to use alcohol as a sleeping pill. Indeed, alcohol has an inhibitory effect on nervous processes and promotes relaxation. But at the same time, the muscular apparatus of the pharynx relaxes. Which leads to a narrowing of the lumen of the pharynx or even a complete collapse of its walls.
Oppressing the subcortical centers of the brain, ethyl alcohol reduces the sensitivity of the brain to oxygen starvation. To put it more simply, the brain does not immediately react to the fact that the body is suffocating. Therefore, in a drunk person, episodes of sleep apnea occur more often and last much longer.
Give up medications
Paradoxically, sleep problems are exacerbated by uncontrolled use of tranquilizers and sleeping pills. They exacerbate obstructive sleep apnea in a manner similar to alcohol.
The most dangerous in this respect are benzodiazepine tranquilizers, in particular, phenazepam. Recent observations show that taking phenazepam for patients with sleep apnea is fatal. To avoid tragedy, see your doctor immediately to change the drug.
Positional treatment of snoring and apnea
Sometimes patients notice the occurrence or intensification of snoring at a certain position of the body, most often on the back. In such cases, it is recommended to sleep on your side.
But, if the patient falls asleep on his side, this does not mean that in a dream he will not be able to take an undesirable position. To prevent this, you can sew a pocket on the back of your pajamas. Before going to bed, you need to put some kind of resilient but safe object in your pocket – like a tennis ball or a small stuffed toy. When the sleeper tries to roll over, the object will create discomfort, and he will return to his side again. Some patients wear a special belt or “backpack” before going to bed for positional treatment.
Since being overweight is the most common cause of snoring and sleep apnea, it is of paramount importance to combat it.
Accumulating around the pharynx, fatty deposits squeeze it, reducing the lumen. Obviously, it is impossible to get rid of the disease without weight loss. But it takes a lot of work to do this, as apnea disrupts the duration of sleep phases, contributing to obesity. To break this “vicious circle”, it is necessary to combat excess weight at the same time as therapy to eliminate sleep apnea.
If a person suffers from uncomplicated snoring, then, as a rule, it is enough for him to lose a little more than 5 kg in order to completely stop snoring.
When treating sleep apnea, you will have to try a little more. Loss of body weight by 10% of the initial will reduce the severity of the disease by one level. So, in order to get rid of a severe form of obstructive sleep apnea, you will have to lose at least 30% of the original weight.
Another important factor in the occurrence of snoring is a decrease in the tone of the muscles of the pharynx and tongue. You can return the muscles to their previous shape with the help of special exercises. The workouts are simple enough, but regular exercise will require patience and self-discipline.
Ten-minute workouts are held in the morning and evening. It is important that the evening class takes place 10 minutes before bedtime. An additional benefit of evening exercises is that the muscles are toned for a while. So you and your loved ones will be about to get to sleep without snoring.
- Move your jaw back and forth. Resist by pressing down on your chin with your palm.
- Open your mouth and make circular movements with your lower jaw. 15 times clockwise and counterclockwise.
- Extend your tongue as far forward and downward as possible, holding for a few seconds.
- Close your mouth, breathe through your nose. Try to move the root of the tongue back.
- Sing the vowels “y” and “and” while contracting your neck muscles.
- Press firmly against the palate with your tongue. Repeat at intervals for half a minute.
- Hold a toothpick or wooden stick in your teeth and hold for 4 minutes.
A noticeable increase in the tone of the muscles of the pharynx and tongue is usually observed by the end of the first month of training.
You can also purchase a special device for training the muscles of the pharynx. It works with an application that you need to download to your smartphone. Although the innovative invention makes the exercises less monotonous, the effort will have to be made no less than with normal exercises.
Pharmaceutical companies are constantly inventing new drugs that promise to stop snoring from consumers. But every sober person understands that weak muscles and fatty deposits around the pharynx are the most common causes of snoring and apnea, and cannot be eliminated with sprays and lozenges.
Those medicines for snoring, which give even a slight temporary effect, can be divided into groups:
- Medicines that moisturize the mucous membranes. They can temporarily prevent the walls of the pharynx from sticking together.
- Local anti-inflammatory drugs. Their temporary positive effect is noted by smokers and people suffering from edema due to allergies or infections of the ENT organs.
- Drugs that increase the tone of the muscles of the pharynx and tongue.
Before trying to treat snoring with medication, it is worth understanding the causes of its occurrence. For uncomplicated snoring, caused, for example, by dry mucous membranes or chronic inflammation, certain medications can actually help. But for patients with complicated snoring and apnea, this is just a waste of money and time.
Do not aggravate your condition by taking dubious medications, immediately contact a somnologist to determine the causes of your illness.
Relief of nasal breathing
If, as a result of examination by an ENT doctor, it turns out that snoring is caused by too narrow nasal passages or nasal congestion, then the following measures may have an effect:
- vasoconstrictor drops and sprays based on xylometazoline – can be used for no more than a week;
- nasal strips from snoring ( Breath strips , BreatheRight ) – plates on an adhesive basis, spreading the wings of the nose to the sides. The snoring patch does not contain any medicinal components, its action is due solely to the mechanical expansion of the nasal passages. In our country, beige and transparent BreezeRight stickers are more common , which come in two sizes – medium and large.
These measures, like medications, can only help with uncomplicated snoring.
Some patients find snoring a ridiculous inconvenience that can be avoided with earplugs. Sooner or later, they get bored with joking, and they think about purchasing snoring devices. You can find many devices in online stores , but, unfortunately, some of them can only help lighten the wallet of the gullible buyer, and not get rid of snoring. This can be said with confidence about the Antihrap magnetic clips . However, some of the tools do come in handy.
The most popular wristband devices are the Snore Stopper , Snore Gone and Hivox SS 650. The mechanism of action of such devices is based on the supply of a weak electrical impulse at the moment when a person begins to snore.
The bracelet does its job if its owner doesn’t snore too often. You should not purchase such devices for both snoring spouses, since both will wake up from the snoring of one sleeping person. Also a contraindication is moderate and severe apnea syndrome, severe cardiovascular diseases, damage to the skin of the hands, acute inflammatory processes, pregnancy.
Snoring mouth guard
This is a special intraoral device that moves the lower jaw forward. This method is effective if snoring and sleep apnea are caused by a sinking tongue and a sloping jaw. The best products are those that are made to order, taking into account all the individual characteristics of the structure of the jaw.
Traditional methods of treating snoring
Whatever stories are told about the miraculous getting rid of snoring with the help of infusions or poultices – do not believe it. The hope for the effect of folk recipes only delays the diagnosis and the beginning of real treatment.
The following methods are listed for people who are stubbornly unwilling to seek specialized help:
- Lubricating the pharynx or instilling sea buckthorn oil in the nose – prevents the walls of the pharynx from sticking together and sometimes reduces snoring in smokers.
- Taking tonics (tinctures of ginseng and lemongrass) increases the excitability of the nervous system, but for a long time prevents a person from falling asleep and makes sleep restless.
The attempts of people to cope with snoring without surgery are quite understandable and explainable. But, if you still decide to try to fight the disease on your own, do not wait too long, hoping for a miracle. Our Sleep Center uses a variety of effective non-surgical treatments for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Don’t make the situation worse, make an appointment today!