We can all suffer from snoring, even if we don’t snore ourselves. Just Google the word “snoring” and you could easily get more than five million results. But none of them can offer you a standard “will work” treatment. Why?
Snoring is caused by a mild form of OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). But have no fear and worry about sleepless nights! There is some hope for those who snore and their bed partners, or anyone in earshot. The results of a recent Brazilian study found that the patients with primary snoring issues or a mild case of OSA that exercised regularly had a significant reduction in their snoring. Over 35 percent!
OSA and snoring are commonly connected with each other. Why? Both are caused by the vibration of soft tissues that are obstructing the airway (pharynx) while they sleep. However, not every person that snores will be diagnosed with OSA. There is range between 15 percent to just over 50 percent of the general popular that is prevalent in snoring. This is mostly because a snorer is self-admitting they snore, or have a partner that isn’t sleeping because of their snoring.
Regardless of the evidence that a large burden in placed on society as a whole because of snoring, the management of those with snoring issues or mild cases of OSA has not been properly and thoroughly investigated.
The study also found that the treatment of snoring has varied widely and also included the avoidance of alcohol and sedatives as well as not sleeping on the back. Weight loss and nasal treatment were also found to be a help to stop snoring. Anything that corrected problems with palates or upper airway such as undergoing surgery or using dental devices proved to help stop snoring too.
Studies in the past have focused on only questionnaires that were completed as self-reports. There are now new treatments for snoring that focus on the objective measures that have long been needed. When the effectiveness of exercise such as oropharyngeal manner was done to minimize snoring, great success was achieved in the group that was being studied.
The exercises that study participants were instructed in were as follows:
- Push the tongue tip against the mouth’s roof and slide the tongue backward
- Suck the tongue upward so that it is against the mouth roof and press the whole tongue against the roof
- Force the back of the tongue to the mouth’s floor as the tongue tip is kept to the bottom of the front teeth
- Elevate the back part of the roof of the mouth and the uvula and practice saying the letter vowel “A”
For those cases that are difficult to diagnosis by a general physician, another study that is done for snorers is an overnight stay in a sleep center lab. The bed and setting are much like one in a hotel room. The participant is hooked up to sensors on different areas of their body. Those sensors then record the participant’s brain waves, breathing, and heartbeat as well as other things. This is an expensive study and not all insurance companies will automatically pay for it without the patient undergoing other diagnosis and studies first.
This sleep study is done in the patient’s own home with a machine hooked up to the patient that will collect information. The test itself and the equipment aren’t as complicated as the sleep lab study and the sleep clinic staff shows the patient how to connect the equipment to themselves and operate it. After the period of time designated to use it, the device is taken back to the sleep clinic and the results studied and then shared with the primary physician.
We are seeing more attention and studies done on snoring these days than ever before. Perhaps it is because more and more people are complaining to their doctors about sleeping problems because of snoring, thus more money is being paid by insurance companies? Or is it simply because it has become a bigger known problem to the general public? Either way, progress is being made or that, along with no snoring, is music to many ears! More info on our homepage.