How to cure snoring

How is snoring treated? There are many methods, but it is not clear what will help. Opinions about the effectiveness of different remedies are very contradictory … One thing is certain: in order to cure snoring, it is important to correctly establish its cause and eliminate it. 

Why do you snore?

Breathing in sleep in a healthy person can be described as follows: falling asleep – relaxation of the muscles of the whole body, including the muscles of the pharynx – maintaining a free lumen of the upper respiratory tract – normal, quiet, unobstructed inhalation and exhalation.

And now breathing in a dream in a snoring person: falling asleep – muscle relaxation – narrowing of the lumen of the airways against the background of muscle relaxation – convergence, vibration, beating of the walls of the pharynx against each other with the passing air flow (snoring).

Whether a person snores or not depends on whether they have risk factors for snoring. These include disorders and features that reduce the lumen of the upper respiratory tract.

There are several of them:

  • obesity;
  • hypothyroidism (disruption of the thyroid gland, in which the production of its hormones decreases, weight increases);
  • smoking;
  • alcohol abuse;
  • taking sleeping pills and sedatives;
  • violation of nasal breathing (curvature of the nasal septum, polyps in the nose, allergic rhinitis, congenital narrowness of the nasal passages, etc.);
  • small and / or posteriorly displaced lower jaw;
  • infectious and inflammatory diseases of the oropharynx and nasopharynx (chronic tonsillitis, adenoiditis, acute respiratory infections);
  • natural aging processes.

“I eliminated the cause, but the snoring did not go away. Why?”

At the Center for Sleep Medicine, we often hear the following complaints: “I snored because of a deviated nasal septum. I was operated on, but it did not help! ” Or: “I was told that I have problems with the soft palate. But after the laser treatment, I snore even harder. How to treat snoring? “

There can be three options:

  1. The cause of the snoring was identified incorrectly.
  2. There was more than one reason (very often patients have 2-3 disorders at once that provoke snoring!)
  3. The person has a too “neglected” form of snoring (obstructive sleep apnea syndrome), so the usual treatment does not help, the patient needs special therapy.

Acting blindly and applying the first methods available, it is almost impossible to restore healthy sleep. According to international standards, snoring during sleep is an indication for examination, during which the causes, form, and severity of the disease are identified. If a person has complicated snoring (obstructive sleep apnea), this carries its own dangers and risks (more on them later).

Can snoring be cured at all?

Patients who have already tried more than once or twice unsuccessfully to cope with the problem ask: is it possible to cure snoring at all? In many families, this problem has been relevant for years, so the possibility of completely getting rid of snoring seems to people doubtful.

It’s obvious that:

  • In the vast majority of cases, snoring is treated.
  • The success rate with self-treatment is about 10%.
  • The success rate for treatment by a somnologist is more than 95%.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all remedy for all snoring patients; everyone needs to choose their own treatment.

Simple Home Tips to Cure Snoring

These are listed below and can help with uncomplicated snoring.

  1. Lose weight (if you are overweight) . With snoring, a decrease in excess body weight by only 10% of the original gives a noticeable positive effect: snoring either stops completely or becomes less. Calculate how much you need to lose weight in order to achieve improvement!
  2. Give up smoking, alcohol abuse , especially shortly before bedtime.
  3. Regularly do gymnastics for the muscles of the tongue and pharynx, repeating it in the morning and in the evening and giving it 10 minutes of time.  
  4. Sleep on your side , not on your back. In this position, airway patency is better in most people than on the back.

Snoring medicine

Drug therapy is effective when snoring is caused by nasal breathing problems. In particular, for allergic rhinitis (one of the causes of snoring), the use of nasal drops with mometasone – the drug Nasonex – helps. 

The use of advertised products based on herbal ingredients (Asonor, Sleepex , etc.), as a rule, does not eliminate snoring. 

Snoring treatment with intraoral devices

Such devices push the lower jaw forward, slightly expanding the pharynx and providing an unobstructed passage of air through the respiratory tract during sleep. This is, of course, the ideal. But in reality …

Intraoral devices are especially useful for those who have snoring caused by a small, backward jaw. They can sometimes be helpful for people with other causes of uncomplicated snoring, but they are not a universal remedy that always works. 

Surgical treatment of snoring

Surgical treatment removes excess soft tissue in the area of ​​the nasopharynx and oropharynx. Modern ways to help with snoring are laser or radio wave uvulopalatoplasty or uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. In the first operation, the “excess” tissue is cauterized in the region of the uvula and palatine arches, in the second, in addition, the tonsils are removed and incisions are made in the soft palate. 

Due to the removal of “extra” tissues, as well as a decrease in the volume of scarring areas, the patency of the pharynx improves, and the person’s snoring disappears. On average, the operation helps 33% of patients and has absolutely no effect if the cause of the snoring is for reasons other than excess tissue in the soft palate. If surgical treatment is not performed according to indications, the intervention can even harm: increase snoring, cause problems with swallowing and voice.

Using nasal strips

The nasal strips look like a patch. They are glued to the wings of the nose and slightly spread them apart due to the elasticity of the material of the product. It improves nasal breathing and helps with “nasal” causes of snoring (polyps, deviated septum).

Other treatments

You may have heard of snoring treatments such as:

  • The use of special bracelets;
  • Using snoring clips;
  • The use of traditional medicine.

You shouldn’t even try to use these tools and devices. In the vast majority of cases, they have no effect.

If breathing stops during sleep

Snoring with respiratory arrest during sleep is called obstructive sleep apnea. This is a complicated, severe form of snoring, in which the narrowing of the pharynx episodically turns into its complete collapse and an attack of suffocation. Such “attacks” can be repeated up to 500 times a night, which seriously damages the brain, heart and other organs.

Sleep apnea patients complain of severe daytime sleepiness, spontaneous falling asleep throughout the day, restless sleep at night, night sweats, high blood pressure, memory and performance problems, and other symptoms. Such people are potentially at risk of stroke, heart attack, sudden death in a dream.

How are snoring somnologists treated?

All patients with snoring and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome are advised to see a somnologist in order to quickly get rid of the problem and avoid the harmful effects of the disease on health.

The specialists of our Sleep Medicine Center will conduct a detailed examination and establish the exact causes of snoring. For the purpose of diagnostics, a polysomnographic study will be performed – registration of various physiological parameters in a dream. Polysomnography determines the presence, severity of snoring (uncomplicated snoring during sleep or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome), and other features of the disease. Based on the information received, the doctor understands how to treat snoring and makes recommendations, the implementation of which leads to recovery.    

Turning to a qualified sleep doctor, you will once and for all forget about snoring, and your sleep will become truly full and healthy.