Nasal strips for snoring are a popular solution. These adhesive strips straddle the nose’s bridge and gently pull down the nostrils, enlarging the nasal passage and improving airflow.
Strips may offer temporary relief for some people. However, they don’t address the underlying cause of snoring and may be ineffective for more severe obstructions.
An anti-snoring device, such as a nasal dilator, air purifier, or chin strap, may also help to an extent. Nasal dilators are essentially more advanced, reusable nasal strips and work the same way. Nasal air purifiers are inserted into the nose to maximize airflow by opening the nasal passages. However, reviews are mixed. Some people find them quite uncomfortable, and they may fall out during the night.
Chin straps appear to work a bit better. They are designed to keep the mouth shut during the night to prevent snores. However, they’re not ideal for people who have difficulty breathing through the nose, and some users might find them uncomfortable.
Snoring Mouth Guard
Snoring mouth guards are designed to keep the jaw and tongue in a forward position. That prevents the soft tissues in the mouth from obstructing your airways. Products can be adjusted for a secure, comfortable fit, and some come with custom-molded teeth impressions.
If you snore because you’re a back sleeper or have overly relaxed soft tissues in the throat, these may be effective.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are devices that include a motor and tubes that channel oxygen through the nose and mouth while the wearer sleeps. This prevents the shortage of oxygen that occurs with obstructive sleep apnea. These machines are only effective for people experiencing OSA.
Pillar Procedure (Palatal Implants)
The pillar procedure can be used to treat snoring or mild sleep apnea. It involves surgically inserting small plastic implants (pillars) into the soft upper palate in the back of your mouth.
The surrounding tissue stiffens as it heals, helping to prevent vibrations during sleep. According to research, people who have small (or removed) tonsils and are a healthy body weight are the ideal candidates.
The soft palate often produces the vibrations that cause snoring. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is a more invasive way to address this than the pillar procedure and is typically reserved for more severe cases.
The operation entails removing some of the soft tissues, including the uvula and portions of the throat walls and palate, freeing the airway of obstructions.
Besides the traditional scalpel and stitches, sometimes surgeons can remove soft tissue using radiofrequency (RF). The surgeon uses radio waves to slightly damage the soft palate. When it heals, the resultant scar tissue stiffens the palate, making it less likely to vibrate.
Patients usually require two or three sessions for the desired effect. Surgeons can also perform laser-assisted UPPP surgeries. These procedures may be effective snoring treatments but will not cure obstructive sleep apnea.
Addressing Snoring for Sounder Sleep
If you’re looking for solutions to a snoring problem, keep in mind that snoring is a symptom, not an illness. Your snoring may be a side effect of lifestyle habits, underlying conditions, or various other factors. The most effective way to treat snoring is to identify the cause and establish a treatment plan that’s unique to your needs.