Snoring is a common issue. In Australia, estimates suggest that 24% of men and 17% of women snore loudly. Snoring is one of those sounds that, for some people, is easy to ignore. For others, it’s a pet peeve.
Every day hundreds of people search the internet to find a solution to their snoring problem. In Sydney, there are various options available to help you get rid of your snoring problem. Snoring not only disturbs your sleep, but it affects the sleep of your family or bed partner as well.
What This Article Is All About?
Having healthy sleep habits and getting proper night time rest is imperative for both physical and mental health. People who snore are likely to have a restless night’s sleep, or at least their partners do.
Snoring can occur due to simple overtiredness, or it can have an underlying cause. The mechanism of snoring is that the soft tissue and muscles at the back of your throat become relaxed while you sleep and they tend to fall back. It causes the narrowing of the air passageway.
When the air passes through the throat, it causes vibration of these structures. These vibrations produce the snoring sound. Your snore can range from a non-notable sound to a bang in your ear kind of sound.
To find a solution for your snoring, you need to find its cause first. The type of management and treatment depends on the main reason behind the snoring.
In this article, we will discuss some of the various treatment options available for the management of snoring. These options range from simple lifestyle modifications to invasive surgical procedures.
In the region of New South Wales and Sydney, approximately 6.3% of adults seek help for snoring. Snoring can occur due to a variety of reasons.
The incidence of snoring has increased since the 1990s and erratic sleeping habits or a sedentary lifestyle are the main reasons. In this section, we will overlook some of the lifestyle modifications that can help you get rid of your snoring problem.
- Change your sleeping position: The solution to your snoring problem can be as simple as switching up your sleeping position. Studies show that people who sleep flat on their backs are more likely to snore than people who sleep on their side. When you sleep on your back, the relaxed muscles of your throat and tongue are more likely to fall back, thus narrowing your airway and causing snoring. If you sleep on your side, you reduce the likelihood of that happening.
- Committing to a healthy weight: When you gain weight, you gain it all over your body, including your neck. The extra layer of fat on your neck puts pressure on the muscles of your throat. It causes a narrowing of the airway in a supine position. When air passes through the narrow airway, it bumps with soft tissue and muscles causing vibrations, which produce the typical snoring sound.
- Don’t let happy hour linger for too long: Drinking alcohol or smoking near your bedtime is also a known cause of snoring. Alcohol has a sedative effect that tends to relax the muscles in your throat while sleeping. It leads to snoring. If you want to drink, make sure your last drink is at least a few hours before bedtime.
- Start a saline habit: Most of the people who snore either have a blocked nose and seasonal allergies. Committing to a saline habit can help prevent snoring. Most of the people who snore are likely to breathe through their mouth instead of their nose while sleeping. Having a clear nose will help you breathe through the nose and reduce the incidence of snoring.
- Avoid sedatives: Medications that have a sedative effect do not only cause snoring; they harm your health as well. Consult your doctor and see if you can change your medications to an alternative that has no or little sedative effect.
As the incidence of snoring increases, the popularity of anti-snoring devices also increases. There are various types and styles of anti-snoring devices available in Sydney.
In this section, we will briefly look at the devices available.
Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)
This device helps hold the tongue in position and prevent it from falling into your throat while you sleep. It also helps advance your mandible a little to help alleviate the narrowing of the airway and make breathing easy, as well as reduce snoring.
If you’re looking for a quick and affordable option to stop snoring in Sydney then it’s well to consider a MAD like Vital Sleep.
- Compact compared to other devices
- Easily available in Australia
- The device may interfere with any ongoing dental treatment.
- It is not recommended for people that have a habit of teeth grinding in their sleep.
Tongue Stabilizing Devices (TSD)
As we have discussed before, one of the reasons for snoring is that your tongue becomes overly relaxed during sleep and falls back into your throat. A tongue stabilizing device prevents the tongue from falling into your throat and causing an obstruction. All you have to do is to put this device into your mouth.
- It is an over-the-counter device
- Easily available
- It is effective
- Simple to use
- May dry out your mouth
- Uncomfortable to use initially
- Not recommended for people who have any severe mandibular and dental deformity.
As the name suggests, it is a pillow ergonomically designed to help alleviate snoring. It is easy to find in Australia in shops and on various online platforms. The effectiveness of the pillow varies from person to person.
- It is easy to use.
- Helps improve sleeping posture
- Helps with back and neck pain
- It is uncomfortable to use in the starts and takes days to weeks to get used to it.
- It is expensive.
Anti-snoring spray has some great reviews in tackling snoring. It helps reduce inflammation of the soft tissues around the throat. It also helps to lubricate your airway.
Pros: It is a quick fix.
Cons: It is only a short term solution and not a long term answer to your snoring problem.
Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP) Anti-Snoring Devices
It is a device that uses pressure to open up the nasal airway passage. Sometimes the reduced pressure in your airway during expiration causes it to collapse and cause snoring. This device helps prevent the collapse of the airway during expiration by providing positive airway pressure to keep it patent.
- Scientifically proven method
- Highly effective
- It is a prescription device.
- The nasal/face mask takes time to get used to.
- The nasal/face mask restricts movement during sleep.
As the name hints, it is a device that you place in your nose to help keep the nasal airway patent. Breathing through your nose instead of your mouth reduces the likelihood of snoring. There are two main types of nasal dilators:
- Internal nasal dilator: These are placed inside your nostrils to keep the nasal airway patent. One example would be Mute Snoring brand.
- External nasal dilator: The dilator opens up the nostrils from the outside.
- Clinical studies support the effectiveness of these devices
- Clinically proven
- Compact and easy to use
- It takes time to get used to having something in or one your nose as you sleep.
- Can cause skin irritation.
- It is not recommended for people who have any form of nasal deformity or injury.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Anti-snoring Machine
It is the most common type of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and associated snoring. This machine applies continuous positive pressure to your airway while you sleep to prevent the collapse of your airway. CPAP provides support both during inspiration and expiration.
- Effective and clinically proven
- The masks are adjustable.
- CPAP helps improve the quality of sleep for people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
- Initial adjustment is difficult
- It might not be suitable for claustrophobic individuals.
Anti-snoring Chin Straps
These straps are placed under your chin and wrap around your head. This device helps to keep your mouth closed while you sleep, which reduces mouth breathing. Mouth breathing is one of the causes of snoring. Having a chin strap forces your body to breathe through your nose and reduce the chances of snoring.
- Non-invasive and painless
- Long-term solution
- Not suitable for people with a blocked nasal passageway.
- It is uncomfortable to uses.
In the section above, we have just given an overview of the types of anti-snoring devices available in Sydney. If you want to read in detail about any of these devices, then just browse our website.
Laser Treatment for Snoring
Laser treatment is a new method for the management of snoring. It is more invasive than anti-snoring devices but less invasive than surgical procedures.
It is a revolutionary walk-in and walk-out snoring treatment that tightens the soft tissue in your throat. It improves the airway volume and reduces snoring. These strategies help treat sleep apnea.
Most lasers use the Er: YAG laser wavelength. The laser stimulates the tissues using a photothermal effect. It triggers the protein transformation in the collagen fibers, which causes the tissues to tighten. As the tissues tighten, it creates more space in the throat for breathing.
The laser uses temperatures around 40-48°C, which does not kill the cells. The sensation of the laser is similar to having a fine mist of hot water sprayed into the throat. So another decent but more expensive option to stop snoring in Sydney.
- Relatively painless
- Quick procedure
- No anesthesia needed
- The patient can eat and drink after the procedure.
- It is expensive
- You may need multiple sessions
Radiofrequency Treatment for Snoring
It is one of the newest treatment options available on the market. After the application of local anesthesia, radiofrequency energy is delivered via an insulated needle directly to the tissue producing snoring.
The procedure is performed by certified ENT specialists. The radiofrequency needle remains in the tissue for approximately three minutes. During this time hardening of the tissues occurs. You may need 1 to 3 applications after a 6-week interval to achieve the desired results.
- Relatively painless
- Less invasive than surgical options
- No sedation needed
- Walk-in procedure.
- Relatively experimental procedure
- Soreness for a few days
Surgical Intervention for Treatment of Snoring
The last and the most invasive treatment option for the treatment of snoring is surgery. It is the option that people are most hesitant about. In this section, we will only discuss the top 3 surgical procedures.
Please keep in mind that there are many other surgical options out there for the management of snoring. These surgical procedures are performed by either an ENT specialist or a maxillofacial surgeon. Let’s jump right into those surgical procedures.
The Pillar Procedure
This procedure is relatively simple. It can be done under local or general anesthesia, depending on the patient’s compliance. It helps to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea. As already discussed in this article, loose soft tissue causes the narrowing of your airway. It not only causes snoring but also causing difficulty in breathing.
Pillar procedure hardens the tissue of your soft palate. Tiny cuts are made on the soft palate and small woven implants are placed on the soft palate. As the palate heals, these implants cause hardening of the soft tissue. Reducing tissue sag and creating more space in your airway.
- Simple procedure
- A quick but long-term fix
- Highly (88%) effective
- It is not recommended for severely obese
- A hospital stay may be required
This is an invasive procedure that involves the manipulation of your uvula, throat walls, and palate. This procedure helps in the management of sleep apnea. Over the years, this procedure has been modified again and again to reduce side effects and enhance the benefits. We must look at all your options before opting for an invasive procedure.
- Long term solution
- Helps improve the quality of sleep
- Invasive procedure
- Long recovery
- Hospital stay
- May notice change in voice
Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction
Your snoring issue could be related to a structural deformity in your nose.It is important to recognize the reason behind your snoring to properly find a solution. In the case of snoring or sleep apnea due to nasal deformities, doctors recommend a snoring surgery called Septoplasty or Turbinate Reduction.
In septoplasty, the doctor will straighten out the bones and tissues at the center of your nose. Turbinate Reduction involves cutting down the size of the tissue in your nose that cleanses and humidifies the air passing through the nasal passage. Doctors perform this procedure using radiofrequency (RF).
- Long term solution
- Helps treat obstructive sleep apnea.
- Long recovery
Above, we have discussed the various options available in Sydney for the management of snoring. This article provides an overview of some of the commonly available options.
We cannot stress this point enough that the type of treatment best suited for you depends on your cause of snoring. Once you have identified the root cause for your snoring, the solution will become easier.
Dr. Muhammad Usman is a Doctor, Nutritionist, Wellness Coach and a Researcher with a deep insight into all aspects of writing related to health and science.