Why and How to Wear a Chin Strap to Alleviate Sleep Apnea
A sleep apnea chin strap worn before bedtime tackles mouth breathing by keeping the relaxing jaws in a firm position. It’s important to clear breathing through the mouth in order to alleviate the loud snoring symptom of apnea, alongside dry mouth or a sore throat when one wakes up in the morning. Those symptoms occur since apnea patients have a tendency to sleep slack-jawed with an open mouth. A chin strap can clear this. Besides, breathing through the nose is a healthier practice than mouth breathing.
However, if you have nasal congestion or suffer from a deviated septum, you need an alternative procedure to clear mouth breathing apart from chin straps. Consult with a sleep specialist before purchasing the cure for mild to moderate apnea.
When it comes to usage, chin straps will be adjustable enough so that your jaws stay in position, but not too stretchable that the mouth opens. There is a concern in apnea patients that chin straps made of elastic material may not be fully beneficial to apnea treatment, but that isn’t true if you know how to wear it. Make it a point to strap the chin strap snugly when wearing before sleep. Most such devices are sturdy enough to keep the jaws in position, so you need not bother about waking up with an open mouth.
- Loosen the strips of the chin strap first up
- Place the thumb around a half-inch away from the strip, rip it, then take off the thumb and place the strip there.
- If you are male, you need not bother about strands of hair getting tangled up with the straps. For girls, this may be a concern. If so, it’s better to wrap a piece of cotton around the top portion of the chin strap and wear it.
The apnea chin strap is meant to hold the jaws in a firm resting position, and not necessarily to clamp the jaws to make the mouth closed fully. If the one you own is not a one-size-fits-all chin strap, try alternate positions in order see which one works best to clear mouth breathing. Some apnea patients use elastic bandages to alleviate apnea and its associated symptoms, but the benefit of the chin strap is that you need not retrofit it every night.