Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Snore No More- How to Beat Nightmare Snoring

Autumn’s rolling in and the clocks are going back soon which means we get a whole extra hour in bed – good news, for most of us. But for those of you who snore (and more importantly your long-suffering partners) it’s just an extra nightmare. We've researched some options for curing snoring to help you get that much needed beauty sleep.

Snore Surgery-

Uvulectomy and Nasal Turbinate Reduction – Coblation

The scientific bit...

Ever noticed the small dangly piece of tissue (the uvula) near the back of your tongue - except perhaps it isn’t that small? If it’s over enlarged, this could be the cause of your snoring. Experts have found that a large or elongated uvula can create the dreaded nightly noise. When the person is asleep, their breathing can cause the uvula to vibrate, and that’s why they snore.

Others may have an obstructed nasal airway – if the nasal passage is blocked, breathing through the nose can cause the flow of air to become rather turbulent, causing vibrations that result in the deafening sound of snoring. The most common cause of nasal obstruction is an enlargement of the balloon shaped membranes, aka turbinates. Well, now you know.

The treatment...

Don’t despair – if you suffer from the former, you might want to try out an uvulectomy, a non-invasive procedure that uses coblation therapy to help reduce the size of a large or elongated uvula. Rather than physically remove or cut the excess tissue, the treatment uses radio frequency energy to reduce the size. The energy gently removes the excess tissue and opens up the oral airway, so you can breathe freely- without waking up your partner!

The procedure takes little more than twenty minutes, so you can be in and out in a jiffy and cured of your snoring dilemma for good. It’s usually performed using a local anaesthetic, and has minimal “downtime”, so you’ll be back to your old (non-snoring) self pretty quickly.

Similarly to the uvulectomy, nasal turbinate reduction also uses coblation. Using radio frequency energy it gently shrinks the size of the turbinates, opening up the nasal airways so you can breathe freely (and quietly).

The Pillar Procedure

The Pillar Procedure is a well known and simple surgical treatment for treating those who have problems snoring and can even help those who suffer from mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

•The scientific bit...

Another reason for snoring can be that when we age, or put on weight, our tissue and muscles in our mouths (just like everywhere else on our bodies) begin to lose their rigidity and strength. When the tissue starts to sag, breathing in our sleep causes the weakened tissue to vibrate and produce that loud snoring noise that keeps us up through the night. In some extreme cases, breathing can even cause the tissue in the soft palate to completely collapse, obstructing the upper airway and producing OSA.

The treatment...

What the Pillar does is strengthen the sagging tissue, and therefore reduce any vibrations or obstructions that is causing the awful snoring noise we all despise. The simple outpatient procedure takes less than 30 minutes using local anaesthetic. It claims to cause little or no discomfort, so there’s no need to book days out of work for recovery. During the actual procedure, four to six teeny tiny woven implants are placed on the top of our mouth, otherwise known as the soft palate. The implants act as structural support to the sagging tissue, making it stronger and therefore less likely to vibrate, so you can sleep soundlessly. Over time your body should naturally heal and provide the structural support your tissue needs.

Lifestyle changes

If you don’t fancy going for surgery, there are various products on the market that you can try out, from nose strips, nasal dilators to snoring sprays. First take a look at your lifestyle choices - as they could just be the root of your problem.


Everyone knows that your diet affects your body. Being overweight, especially around the neck area prevents air to flow freely in and out, as it squeezes the airway restricting normal breathing. This causes the tissue to vibrate, and that’s when you get snoring. A change in diet and a sensible exercise regime will greatly help your snoring, making you feel and look good in the process!

Alcohol & Smoking

Yes, you’ve guessed it - the two baddies we all love to hate can cause snoring. Smoking irritates the lining of the nasal cavity and throat causing it to swell, and if it becomes congested it makes it difficult to breathe through your nose as the airflow is decreased. Try to steer clear of those who smoke, as even second hand smoke has been proven to influence snoring. If you find you can’t live without a ciggie, you can reduce the effects of snoring by having your last cigarette at least 4 hours before you go to bed.

Snoring is always worse after a few drinks - this is because alcohol slows the brain’s responses, causing the muscles to relax even more than during a normal night’s sleep. This can obstruct the airway, and can even induce the sleep disorder ‘obstructive sleep apnoea’, (where your sleep is interrupted by periods of not breathing). So if you are a snorer, it is best to avoid copious amounts of alcohol - at least just before you go to bed…


After a hard day at the office, all you want to do is kick back and get some sleep. However, it has been proven that stress is related to snoring, as during REM sleep (when the brain is organising and making sense of your day’s stimuli), if you had a particularly stressful day this results in rapid or deep breathing, and thus leads to snoring.

Snorers tend to take deep and fast gulps of air when they sleep, so the key is to slow down the speed and volume of each breath. So to combat stress, and in turn reduce your snoring, try out relaxing breathing techniques such as meditation and yoga and focus on your body’s breathing before you get your forty winks.

If snoring’s getting you down, (especially if you’re not the one snoring), don’t have sleepless nights over it - get some help from medical spas around the country or alternatively take action and improve your lifestyle, for a healthier and happier you. Either way you’ll be saying goodbye to sleepless nights, and hello to the land of nod.
For more professional advice and frontline news check out Wahanda; the health & wellness guru's and my personal blog for the site

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