Snoring is a common problem for bed partners and this nocturnal habit can leave you feeling quite alone. There is no cure for snoring but a few devices have come pretty close to solving this irritating condition.
Snoring happens when either your nose or throat interferes with the free flow of air. This partial obstruction causes soft tissue to vibrate creating noise. Everybody snores once in a while but when snoring becomes habitual it affects the sleep of your partner and has long-term effects on your health.
There are a variety of reasons why your airflow can get interrupted.
- Blocked nasal passages
Bulky throat tissue
Alcohol, smoking, or medication
Poor muscle tone in the tongue and at the back of the throat.
Generally, your bed partner is the first to tell you that you snore and how often you wake them up. More importantly, they describe the sound of your snoring which makes a self-diagnosis more accurate.
Some snoring solutions can be as simple as making a few lifestyle changes, like reducing your alcohol intake or getting some exercise to drop some weight. However, the majority of snorers seek relief from oral appliances. There are a variety of these to choose from and a great resource of information and advice can be found on a recommended sleep site, Tuck.
There are two types of Oral appliances TRDs (tongue retaining devices) and MADs (mandibular advancement devices) which are more commonly called anti-snoring mouthpieces or mouthguards.
The TRDs are worn by snorers who have poor muscle tone in their tongues and soft palate. It works by holding the tongue in the forward position during sleep allowing the air to flow freely. They can also be worn by snorers who have sensitive teeth or wear dentures.
When it comes to MAD’s there are two types, adjustable and Boil and Bite. Both of these anti-snoring mouthpieces work by holding your lower jaw fractionally forward, tensioning the soft tissue at the back of the throat, and allowing a free flow of air. They are the most trusted oral appliance and have been available for over a decade. Dentists make a customized version but this comes with a premium price tag.
So which snoring device is the best?
Choosing a device is personal, we look for a good fit, comfort, and ease of use. I tell my clients, it is comparable to choosing underwear, do you wear boxers or briefs, tangos or bikinis? You will probably try a few before finding the right fit for your lifestyle.
Just to note. Sleep apnea can be easily misdiagnosed as nighttime snoring and it is important to know the difference. If your partner mentions that there is a brief silence and you gasp for air it would be preferable for you to contact a sleep clinic for a sleep study.