Snoring is an inconvenience and a health hazard for both the snorer, and his or her spouse. Many people will turn to surgery in a desperate attempt to cure the snoring, but non-surgical treatments are available.
While undertaking any non-surgical treatment for snoring, it’s important to establish a baseline to measure the effectiveness of the treatment. This can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Those with willing partners to assist them can ask for feedback as to whether or not they notice an improvement once a treatment is under way. Those who live alone can make nightly recordings to assess the effectiveness of any treatments they try.
Drug treatments fall into three groups. The first works to stimulate respiration, the second opens the airways and the third works to keep the patient from entering REM sleep. All stages of sleep have been proven to benefit health and well being, so one must question the validity of taking a drug that interferes with natural sleep patterns.
Some over-the-counter decongestant inhalers can be beneficial in keeping nasal passageways open. Simple saline nasal sprays will work to keep the mucous membranes moist and unclogged, thus reducing vibration noise.
People who sleep on their backs are more likely to snore; so numerous devices have been designed to manipulate the sleeping position.
Specially designed pillows force the snorer to sleep on his or her side. Snoring balls can be useful if you try sleeping on your side but always roll to your back. This little wonder is sewn into a pocket on the back of a pyjama shirt, making it uncomfortable to sleep on your back. Snoring balls can be purchased in stores, or fashioned from materials readily available in the home. Sleep position monitors are also available. These electronic devices emit a beeping alarm when the sleeper rolls from back to side. The premise is that the snorer becomes conditioned to sleeping on his or her side.
Nasal strips applied externally to the nose will act to widen the nasal passages. Athletes also use nasal strips to improve their respiratory efficiency. Another device based on the same principle is a dilator. This plastic or metal coil is inserted into the nostrils before sleep, keeping the nasal passages open during sleep. Both of these gadgets seem to cut down on the vibratory noise of snoring.
There is a huge market of appliances devised to help desperate snorers. Other choices include oral appliances, tongue trainers and even a little device that emits an electric shock when it senses snoring.
Diet and food allergies or intolerances can also contribute to snoring. Allergies can cause mucous membranes to become inflamed and congested. The congestion blocks the airway and snoring occurs. Some people have reported that avoiding dairy products can improve snoring, while others have found that vitamin C can worsen their condition.
Weight is another contributing factor to snoring. There is a direct link between snoring and obesity or even excess weight. Once other underlying causes can be ruled out, weight loss should be the first treatment considered for snoring. Of course, reduced snoring is only one of countless benefits you’ll receive from attaining a healthy weight.
Finally, avoiding alcohol and sedatives can greatly improve a snoring problem, as these substances can cause tissues to relax and obstruct the airways.
While immediate surgery might seem like the alternative to a snorer, or a snorer’s bedmate, there are many alternative treatments to consider before going under the knife. Ask you doctor which treatment option might be best for you.