Snoring Solutions

How Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affect Respiration?

Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard

Snoring Related Issues

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition where you may stop breathing for a short time while you are sleeping. Usually, these pauses, which are referred to as apnea events or apnea episodes, may last from 10 to 30 seconds. People having this health condition may stop breathing hundreds of times every night, and this may lead to low oxygen levels and sleep disruption.

It is seen that OSA leads usually to restlessness, and if not treated properly, it may reduce cognitive function and cause daytime sleepiness. Apart from this, it also heightens the risks of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Though sleep apnea mouth guard can be used to prevent snoring and limit the OSA symptoms to an extent, severe cases of sleep apnea needs to be treated. Therefore, it would be wiser to consult a doctor if you have the condition.

Apart from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, there are three more kinds of sleep apnea, namely sleep-hypoventilation syndrome, complex or mixed sleep apnea, and central sleep apnea. Regardless of which type of sleep apnea you have, timely intervention is mandatory to deal with the health issue properly. The following are the factors that may lead to higher risk of the condition.

  • Obesity
  • Having thick and large neck
  • Hereditary disease
  • If you are male
  • If you are 40 years or more
  • Presence of large tonsils
  • Recessed chin

In case of children, they may have this syndrome if there are large tonsils and adenoids.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Breathing?

At first, you will be breathing normally and sleeping quietly, and the air can flow easily to the lungs through the breathing tube. A little later, you might start snoring loudly; this means that your air passage is blocked partly. If the block worsens, it can affect the volume of air that enters the lungs, and hence, lead to a significant drop in the oxygen levels. This condition is referred to as hypopnea.

As time passes, your airway gets blocked completely, and when the brain gives the signal to breathe as normal, you couldn’t breathe in the air because of the blocked air passage. After a ten to thirty second pause, the brain realizes that you were not breathing, thus, it will force you to wake up. When you can wake up, you take a deep breath of air, and thereby, start breathing normally. However, the cycle may repeat, and this leads to frequent sleep interruption.

Why Do Apnea Patients Wear a Chinstrap in Combination with CPAP Mask

Apnea Chin Strap

Apnea Patients

Chinstraps are fastened around the lower jaw and the head’s top. If you are under continuous positive airway pressure therapy, the slightly pressurized air being supplied via the nose through a face mask will leak out if the mouth falls open during sleep. This is why apnea patients at times use anti snoring chinstraps to mitigate the side effects of CPAP.

When sleeping, the lower jaw stays in a relaxed position and that can make you to breathe through the mouth. Mouth breathing often causes a sore throat or a dry mouth in apnea patients, especially when they wake up. However, patients can mitigate the side effects of CPAP by wearing an apnea chin strap. Wearing the anti snoring chin strap makes it tough for the mandible to relax while sleeping, which helps to keep the nasal mask securely in place and the mouth closed.

If you use a full face CPAP mask while sleeping, and find that air is leaking due to an open mouth, it is best to use a nasal mask instead and seal it with a chinstrap. Obviously, mouth breathing tend to cause snoring, so wearing a chinstrap in combination with a nasal mask is advisable to mitigate the symptoms of sleep apnea.

You might require a chinstrap if you snore even during the CPAP therapy, as that indicates you are breathing through the mouth despite wearing a nasal mask. So, even if you use that type of CPAP mask, using a chin strap for snoring in combination with that will give comfort to your sleep.

Even if you are not snoring, it will not be very comfortable to wake up with a sore throat or dry mouth. Such side effects are consequences of sleeping with an open mouth, which can be mitigated by using an apnea chin strap. Most of such chinstraps are made in a way they are compatible with a specific type of CPAP mask, so there is no doubt that you get a tight seal, especially if you wear it with nasal mask type. Further, most chinstraps are also made of soft fabric, which will not brush against the face rather uncomfortably, and stretchable material that contours to the shape of the face and ensures you of a tight fit.

Why Do Apnea Patients with CPAP Intolerance Choose Oral Appliances?

Chin Strap for Snoring

CPAP Therapy And Sleep Apnea

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is commonly used as a treatment option for people diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The therapy involves using a CPAP machine, which pumps slightly pressurized air into the nasal airways via an elongated hose hooked to a face mask worn, while the person is asleep. This contraption is used to hold open the OSA patient’s upper airway, and prevent breathing difficulties which may last from a few seconds to a full hour.

While CPAP is a tried-and-tested method for treating sleep apnea, many people face hardships in sticking with the therapy. Most medical professionals term the difficulty to comply with it as CPAP intolerance. Often, the noise coming from the bulky CPAP machine, causing disturbance to apnea patients and bedmates, is found to be the main reason for intolerance, which leads to the failure of CPAP therapy. However, there are several other reasons for CPAP intolerance, including:

  • Air leaks in the face mask, which cause a dry mouth in the morning;
  • The person being allergic to the material of the oxygen mask used in CPAP, which often tends to be made up of latex;
  • Uncomfortable headgear and straps; and
  • Limited mobility during sleep, due to the contraption or the CPAP machine, and other connections.

If you feel that you cannot comply with the CPAP, it is advisable to look for alternative treatments for mild to moderate apnea, such as oral appliance therapy. In fact, oral appliance therapy may also serve as a remedy for loud snoring, even if you find it tough to get used to positional therapy. For instance, if you find it tough to change from a supine or prone position to a side-sleeping one on the bed – it’s best to wear an oral appliance used to treat mild to moderate OSA.

Side sleeping is suggested in positional therapy for treating apnea; most people do find comfort in opening the upper airway using a snoring remedy, but not all feel the same way. In fact, an oral appliance such as a sleep apnea mouth guard is considered as a noninvasive treatment for OSA. Such snoring mouthpieces do not cause any side effects, and work as per the same principle – of clearing the obstructions in the upper throat. Once worn, it advances the lower jaw and ensures free flow of air.

7 Easy Remedies to Stop Snoring

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Easy Snoring Remedies

Snoring is caused due to the obstruction in the air movement while breathing during sleep. Snoring is a serious issue, not only because it disturbs others’ sleep, but also because the people who snore may suffer from other serious health conditions such as sleep apnea and heart diseases. Apart from using snore guard and other snoring aids to deal with the problem, given below are some home remedies that may help you to stop snoring.

Lose Weight

Weight loss can help obese people to stop snoring to some extent. Besides, if you have gained weight in the recent past, and that is when you started snoring, then weight loss may be effective. When you gain weight around the neck, it will squeeze the inner diameter of the throat, which may trigger snoring.

Change your Sleep Position

Avoid sleeping on your back; sleeping on your side is known to be effective in preventing snoring. Using a full-length pillow will be an easy option, as it enables you to maintain sleeping on your side. Yet another alternative is to recline your bed with the head up.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Having poor sleeping habits can also trigger snoring. If you work for too long hours without having enough sleep, you become overtired, which makes you sleep deep and hard. This is when the muscles in the throat and back of the mouth become floppier and lead to snoring issues.

Avoid Alcohol

Usage of alcohol and other sedatives may reduce the resting tone of the muscles present on the back of your throat and you are more likely to snore. It is said that people who do not snore normally, start snoring after consuming alcohol.

Change your Pillows

Allergic reactions may occur due to the presence of dust mites accumulated in your pillows and this leads to snoring. If you allow your pets to sleep on your bed, it causes you to breathe in animal dander, which is another common irritant that leads to breathing issues.

Stay Hydrated

If you are dehydrated, the secretions in your nose become stickier and this creates more snoring. Women should have around 11 cups of water per day, while men need to drink about 16 cups. Apparently, drinking plenty of fluids is very necessary not only to fight snoring but also to stay healthy.

Keep the Nasal Passages Open

When you have a cold, your nose will be clogged and narrowed. The narrower the path is, the faster the air you breathe moves in, and most likely cause snoring. Taking a hot shower before going to bed or rinsing your nose with salt water would help you to keep the nasal passage clear. Using nasal strips is another alternative.

Complications Related to Sleep Apnea

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Sleep Apnea Related Complications

Sleep apnea is a serious health disorder where breathing repeatedly stops for a while when the person is asleep. The main symptoms of this disorder are loud snoring, abrupt awakening, morning headache, insomnia, hypersomnia, irritability, and sore throat. There are three main types of sleep apnea: Central Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and Complex Sleep Apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax; Central Sleep Apnea occurs when the brain does not send information to the muscles, which control breathing; while Complex Sleep Apnea happens when someone has both the apnea mentioned above. Given below are the complications you may experience if you have sleep apnea.

Fatigue

People having sleep apnea may experience daytime fatigue, irritability, and drowsiness because of repeatedly awakening from sleep. One may find difficult to concentrate or may fall asleep while working, watching TV, or even while driving.

Surgery Complications

After major surgery, people with sleep apnea may be more prone to breathing problems when they are sedated and lying on their backs. So it is advised to notify the doctor about the problem before surgery.

Metabolic Syndrome

Sleep apnea patients may experience some metabolic syndromes like high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol, high blood pressure, and an increased waist circumference.

Liver Problems

For those who have sleep apnea, it is likely that they may have abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers might show signs of scarring as well. This condition is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop in people who have sleep apnea when compared to those who do not have the sleep disorder.

Heart Problems

Due to a sudden drop in blood oxygen level during sleep apnea, blood pressure increases and causes strain in the cardiovascular system. This means that the risk of stroke is high for those having Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Behavioral Disorder

Sleep apnea may result in a decrease in concentration, vigilance, attention, visuospatial and verbal memory, and even lead to dementia in older people. Children diagnosed with sleep issues may also experience learning disabilities.

Stroke

Stroke in patients having sleep apnea is said to occur mostly between 06:00 am and 08:00 am, as it is the time when a person wakes up normally. A deprived sleep may be the reason for that.

Obesity

Obesity leads to narrowing and sporadic obstruction of the airways, which in turn, worsens snoring and sleep apnea. Excessive weight gain also leads to overstretching of the diaphragm or less contractility of chest wall muscles, which all further complicate the health issue.

How the Biology of Women Contribute to Sleep Disorders

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Sleep Disorders In Women

A good night’s sleep is necessary for both men and women in order to feel comfortable and energetic throughout the following day. According to studies in the field, the quality of sleep is more likely to be poor in women when compared to men. This is because of their hormonal structure, genes, and some other biological factors. Hence, it is quite common if a woman complained about her sleep quality or morning tiredness more often when compared to men.

Two of the main reasons for this difference in the sleep quality for women are the unique physical changes during their menstrual cycle and pregnancy. During the menstrual period, women experience various hormonal changes in their body throughout the month. These changes can contribute to the poor sleep cycle in women, which may eventually lead to health issues such as snoring and sleep apnea.

Sleep Disorders and Menstrual Cycle

The changes that happen in the body of a woman during the menstrual cycle can have a huge impact on her sleep quality as well as the quantity. According to the reports of the National Sleep Foundation, half of the women who encounter sleep disorders are going through their menstruation period. Usually, the sleep of women is disrupted mainly during the first three days of the menstrual cycle. As a result, most women snore more during these initial days of their periods.

Impact of Hormones on the Sleep Cycle

Around the menstrual cycle, the hormone levels in the body of women may rise or fall, which in turn, can affect their sleep cycle. The hormone called estrogen is associated with the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage or deep sleep phase, so a fluctuation in the estrogen levels can disrupt proper sleep. On the other hand, the hormone called progesterone that is linked to ovulation may cause excessive sleepiness and fatigue. There are also many other hormones that cause mood swings in women during their menstrual periods that eventually affect the sleep quality.

Hormones and Sleep Disordered Breathing in Women

The fluctuating hormone level in the body of the women is linked with SDB (Sleep Disordered Breathing) that cause snoring and sleep apnea. The tone and strength of the muscle tissue are also related to the hormone levels. During hormonal fluctuations, the muscle tone will become weak and the upper airway will become collapsible, which may gradually lead to snoring and sleep apnea issues. Furthermore, variation in hormonal levels can also contribute to the weight gain, which is another potential cause for snoring.

How Allergies Cause Snoring and How to Avoid it

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Allergies And Snoring

Allergies usually occur when people who are prone to it breathe airborne allergens, which aggravate and swell nasal airway passages. It does not happen in all kinds of people, but in those having an immune system that is not strong enough to resist airborne particles such as dust, pet dander, or food contaminants.

If allergies kick in, the immune system sees it as hazardous for the body and sends signals to the lung cells, nose cells, and mouth cells for releasing histamines. The said chemical compound boosts blood circulation in areas that are affected by allergens, thus leading to swelling. So, if you get affected by any of the allergens, histamines would cause the thin walls in the nose to create more mucus than before its releasing.

Of course, there is some amount of mucus in the nose, but excessive mucus would cause a stuffy nose and may affect the normal airflow. The substance that is secreted by mucous membranes may irritate a person’s upper throat airway causing swelling and partial or full obstruction in breathing through the airways.

Allergies that Cause Snoring

Snoring occurs due to lack of free flowing air via the nose as well as throat while sleeping. When breathing during sleep, air rushes past through upper throat tissues, which would vibrate with the surface of the mouth, in turn, producing the snoring sound.

Other than the aforementioned snoring causes, there are more allergies that may cause the health condition including allergies that occur during fall or springtime, allergies from certain food items, medicines, etc. Symptoms that are linked to snoring due to allergies include swelling of the tongue or throat, excess forming of mucus, swelling of mentioned airways, wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, etc. When mucus accumulates excessively in the upper airways, it may lead to a condition named post-nasal drip as well.

To clear allergens, you should keep the surroundings of the bedroom clean. For that, turn on the humidifier 15 to 30 minutes prior to bedtime and keep the humidity at the time between forty to fifty percent. This right use of humidifier would provide an adequate amount of moisture in the surrounding air. This moisture can help to clear airway obstructions and alleviate snoring. Note that it is also important to keep the humidifier in a fresh condition for that. Alternatively, you can also use a nasal spray to clear the mucus formed.

How Snoring Can Harm your Marriage

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Snoring And Marriage

Most of us are aware of the fact that financial woes and infidelity are two of the major reasons that lead to divorces in the United States. However, several people often fail to understand the fact that the sleep disorder, snoring, is the third largest cause of break-ups and divorces in the country.

A recent study conducted by experts in the field of medical science revealed that couples, in which one partner is suffering from snoring issues, would have more disagreements when compared to other couples. In addition to that, the study further pointed out the fact that couples who belong to the former category will also argue and fight more than normal couples do.

A Married Couples Sleep Study recently evaluated the quality of life, marriage satisfaction, and sleepiness, of about 10 people. This was done to identify how the sleeping disorders of the husband affect his wife. The result obtained from the study revealed a shocking conclusion that couples who are facing sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea and snoring are more likely to get divorced.

Rosalind Cartwright, who is the founder of the Sleep Disorders Center at Rush University Medical Center, said, “This is a frequent problem within marriages that nobody is paying enough attention to. Couples who struggle with sleep apnea have a high-divorce rate. Can we save marriages by treating sleep apnea? It’s a question we hope to answer.”

During the study, the participating couples spent a few nights in the lab while health care providers evaluated their sleep patterns to determine how the snoring issues of one’s partner affected his/her sleep quality. Cartwright added, “Our early results are showing that the wife’s sleep is indeed deprived due to the husband’s noisy nights. This is not a mild problem. The lack of sleep for both partners puts a strain on the marriage and creates a hostile and tense situation.”

She concluded by stating, “The strain on the marriage was evident. The couple was fighting all the time and the surveys revealed low satisfaction with the marriage, especially when it came to effective communication.” So, if you or your partner is struggling with snoring issues, and if you wish not to disturb the sleep quality of your partner, you should consider investing in an anti snoring mouthpiece or any other effective snoring aids to treat the condition as soon as possible.

Researchers Say Fat Deposits in the Tongue Causes Snoring and Apnea

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Sleep Apnea And Fat Deposits

If loud snoring is causing a sleep disturbance not only for you but for your bedmate as well, then it may occur due to fat buildup in the base of the tongue. Researchers say that the fat deposits in the tongue may cause the muscles to constrict the airway, in turn, leading one to snore heavily during sleep. This also serves as an explanation as to why obese people snore more and encounter sleep apnea episodes, which is characterized by not just snoring but also by breathing pauses that may last for a few seconds to up to an hour.

If you are obese and snore at night, it is best to get a screening done to diagnose sleep apnea, a disorder where the throat muscles recede back into the mouth during sleep. Apart from increasing the size of the tongue, the fat deposits may affect how muscles attach the tongue to the bone as well. This prevents the adequate tongue positioning away from the breathing passage and induces snoring in sleep.

Earlier, medical practitioners used to say that it is the fat deposits around the neck, that causes snoring in obese people in particular, but this revelation may seem startling to all. Sleep specialists say that the size of the tongue is an important physical aspect of the health issue, which is best analyzed by an expert physician when screening is done on obese people to diagnose the possibility of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is linked to chronic conditions that affect respiratory functions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and even mental health. Due to that early diagnosis and ideal treatment is a must to manage the said risk factors associated with sleep apnea. If fat buildup in the base of the tongue is diagnosed, physicians recommend a surgical procedure to clear the fat deposits. This is done to stop the tongue from collapsing back into the throat and help to maintain its proper positioning for normal breathing.

If you are snoring due to other causes such as excessive fat deposits around the neck and a consequential receding tongue problem, a common remedy to try to alleviate that is using an anti snoring mouth guard. The mandibular advancement device worn on the mouth advances the lower jaw forward, clears the constrictions in the upper throat, and makes breathing easy. As the stop snoring mouth guard is clinically approved, it poses no risks of side effects on the patient.

Can an Anti Snoring Mouthpiece and Dental Implants be Used Together?

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Snoring And Dental Implants

It is a receding jaw while sleeping that contributes to a constricted airway and snoring sound, which occurs when breathing air rushes past the upper throat and the tissues vibrate against the upper surface of the mouth. Most mandibular advancement devices work on the same principle of advancing the lower jaw forward to clear partial airway blockages in the throat. A snoring mouth guard worn on the lower front teeth advances the mandible by applying an inward pressure on upper teeth.

Not all mandibular advancement devices are created equal, but better-built snoring mouthpieces use boil and bite technology, which provides a much comfortable fit. Such kinds of mouthpieces require the snorer to have strong lower and upper front teeth though. Manufacturers of such anti snoring devices often endorse using it for advancing the lower jaw. However, if you have missing or loose lower front teeth or use dentures holding the teeth intact to improve stability, it is best to consult the dentist to know if a mouthpiece can be worn alongside that to alleviate snoring.

Occasional snorers often ask whether mandibular advancement devices can be worn together with non-removable partial denture or full dentures with dental implants. Note that it might be uncomfortable wearing full dentures in particular and the mouth guard to stop snoring. In a general sense, if the partial implants are put on the front portion of the upper or lower teeth, it will be tough to use a snoring mouthpiece alongside that. So it is worth paying a visit to the dentist in order to know if a mouthpiece may prove to be the best fit when it comes to reducing snoring.

Maybe you have a dental crown or a dental bridge placed over an implant for providing an artificial shape that resembles a row of teeth. If you wear that, it is worth wondering if wearing an anti snoring mouth guard may involve severe pain. When it comes to non-removable partial dentures, the answer may depend on the teeth crown or bridge and the health of the natural teeth remaining in the mouth.

Generally, those having dental crowns or bridges at the gum’s rear would find using a stop snoring mouthpiece much comfortable when compare to those who have had dental treatments done on the front teeth.