Snoring is a leading cause of sleepless nights for many people, especially bedmates of those who suffer from snoring. As a result, an increase in sleep studies and the causes and remedies of snoring has been underway for a number of years. Numerous snoring devices, or rather devices and aids that purport to stop snoring, have been made public in recent years, ranging from nose strips to throat sprays to dental implants and surgery.
The thing to understand about snoring is that while the act of snoring itself is universal, the underlying causes and related issues can vary from person to person. Snoring is caused by the vibration of relaxed or collapsed soft tissue in the airways at the back of the throat. If nasal passages become blocked, people sleeping breathe through their mouth. Some people actually stop breathing for brief periods of time, a condition known as sleep apnea.
Though there are many snoring devices available, many of them do not produce results for a vast number of snorers. For instance, nasal strips and throat sprays are examples of snoring aids. Nasal strips are placed on the outside of the nose and are supposed to provide lift and support that keeps the nasal passages open wider, resulting in easier breathing through the nose. Throat sprays marketed as anti-snoring aids are supposed to lubricate the throat and soft tissue in it to reduce vibrations. For heavy snorers, these aids do not have a very highly reported success rate.
Other snoring devices are a bit more complex and come in the form of mandible extenders, or simply put, mouth pieces that reposition the upper jaw and cause the tongue to fall naturally in place rather than back against the airway. In some cases, these devices are custom made by dentists or doctors, but there are a few manufacturers that are making self-adjusting mouth pieces for over-the-counter sales. While evidence that self-adjusting varieties actually work would be difficult to attain, it stands to reason that a custom fit may be more successful, though more expensive.
Another type of snoring device, known as CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), is a type of breathing machine that a doctor prescribes to effectively combat sleep apnea. A CPAP machine requires specific settings and adjustments, which are based on results of a medically conducted sleep study, and therefore requires the assistance of a doctor to obtain. However, not all snorers have sleep apnea or are candidates for these this type of equipment.
Some snorers also seek the assistance of a surgical implant, which provides support to collapsed soft tissue. An ENT (ear, nose, and throat specialist) is a physician who specializes in the ears, nose, and throat and many are performing the implant procedure in their offices. Again, certain people may not be a candidate for these types of snoring devices, so talk to you doctor.
In the end, because there are so many different types of snoring devices available, people become confused about their options. People who are genuinely suffering the effects of long-term sleep loss because of snoring should talk to their doctor about methods to reduce or eliminate snoring.