Want To Stop Snoring? Here's What Works (And What Doesn't) The Huffington Post | by Sarah Klein
Long considered little more than a nuisance, snoring is
no longer something to ignore -- to the delight of frustrated bed partners
everywhere. To sleep physicians, snoring is a sign that something's up.
you are snoring, you're spending too much energy to breathe," says Dr. M.
Safwan Badr, M.D., president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
"Snoring is like fever for a general internist -- it tells you somethig is
going on, but it doesn't tell you what."
Snoring occurs when a person's
airways have narrowed, causing the air that passes through it as we breathe to
vibrate the soft tissue of the throat. "In principle, snoring is not
normal," he says. As a physician, he says he would want to knowwhythat person is snoring in order to
provide the best treatment, rather than have a snorer attempt to take her
medical care into her own hands. "I would make sure that the body isn't
telling us to look for sleep-disordered breathing or sleep apnea," he
During sleep apnea, snorers
actually stop breathing, sometimes hundreds of times a night. It's important to
receive an accurate diagnosis because of sleep apnea's many implications in
other health conditions. Sleep apnearaises risk of heart attack,depressionanddiabetes. But even if snoring is due to a case of
seasonal allergies or nasal congestion, there are treatments that can improve
those conditions that only a physician would think to suggest, he says.
many snorers and their aggravated bed partners are looking for a little at-home
relief. Badr walked us through the options on the market that might work -- and
what's not worth your time or money.
Nasal Strips The
Badr says these usually don't work. A narrowing of nasal passages that's severe
enough to cause snoring happens deeper than can be fixed with a sticky strip.
"They may or may not affect the acoustics," he says, "but not
the mechanics of the airway." In other words, a frustrated bed partner may
hear quieter snoring from someone wearing a nasal strip, but "the
phenomenon will not go away," he says.