Snoring Remedies: Is There Really Help For Every Snorer?
Many myths and stories about the “magic” snoring remedy are floating around. Yet the snoring solution with the greatest chances of success is very unspectacular: You have to find out what kind of snoring you’re suffering from. This will make it clear which type of snore stopper you need and you can effectively stop snoring.
Once upon a time there was an inconspicuous remedy that, as if by magic, relieved every snorer of his suffering… like that could a modern fairy tale begin. The fairy tale of the ONE remedy against snoring. However, the real life of a snorer and his or her bed partner is anything but magical. Snoring causes suffering for all those involved and can even jeopardize one’s health (keyword: obstructive sleep apnea). If you want to prevent snoring, it can even happen that the expensive snoring remedy does not work and the frustration only increases.
But this should not be the case. Because the golden rule of snoring therapy is: if you know which type of snoring you have, you can stop your snoring very precisely and effectively with a suitable anti-snoring device.
There are several ways to find out which specific type of snoring affects you. The simplest is an online anti-snoring test – simple, quick and discreet. A handful of questions answered in less than 5 minutes, without the need to provide personal information. Another good option is to see an ENT doctor. In many cases, he can identify the problem areas with a simple check-up. If in doubt, he will arrange further check-ups; especially when a pathological form of snoring is suspected.
Once you know what the specific cause of your snoring is, it won’t be long until you find the perfect remedy for your snoring.
Tongue Snoring (Also Called “Retrolingual Snoring”)
If you are a “tongue snorer”, then snoring only occurs when lying in a supine position. You will start to snore because gravity forces the tongue to fall back into the throat, constricting or even blocking the airways. A great remedy for this snoring type are snoring mouthpieces. They move the lower jaw slightly forward and prevent the tongue from blocking the airways. Good examples are Somnofit or SnorBan. Alternatively, tongue snoring can also be treated very well with positional therapy. Positional remedies such as vests (e.g., Nachtwaechter), backpacks (e.g., SomnoCushion) or anti-snore pillows (e.g., Piano) keep snorers from sleeping in a supine position.
If tongue snoring leads to a blockage of the upper airways and, in turn, frequent breathing stops during sleep, then doctors refer to this as a position-dependent obstructive sleep apnea. When breathing stops are suspected, you should always consult a specialized physician (ENT / somnologist) to clarify the situation. Together with you, he would decide which therapy is most suitable. This can range from a snoring mouthpiece, a anti-snore backpack, CPAP therapy to the use of a “tongue pacemaker” (UAS) which tightens the tongue’s muscle.
Mouth Snoring (“Velar Snoring”)
If, on the other hand, “mouth snoring” is the problem, completely different remedies are used to prevent snoring. Traditional snoring mouthpieces cannot prevent this type of snoring. Mouth snoring occurs when the person affected breathes through the mouth at night so that the breathing air forces the tissue at the palatal arch (e. g. uvula) or in the adjacent tissue regions to vibrate. This triggers the snoring noise. The recommended solution for this snoring form is the use of a snoring mouthpiece.
As an alternative, you can also try to specifically train the tissue that is prone to becoming loose in order to increase basic tension (tonus) again. In certain cases, surgery may also be considered to stop this form of snoring. The palatal tissue may become flabby again over time after operation. This means that even in the case of a successful surgical procedure to tighten the tissue, there is still the risk that its positive effect becomes weaker again over time. Another alternative is using a anti-snore brace. Depending on the specific design, the device can put the tissue in the gum area under tension and therefore act as an efficient snoring remedy.
There’s another important aspect to “mouth snoring”: It often happens that people breathe through the mouth while they’re asleep, only because the natural airway – namely the one through the nose – is impaired! You may hear the person’s “mouth snoring”, but the real problem lies in his nose! That is why mouth snorers should always check first if they still can get enough air through the nose. If that is not the case, then nasal dilators may remedy the problem – or consulting an ENT specialist. Only when you feel certain that you breathe through your mouth even though your nose is clear, it is wise to consider getting a snoring mouthpiece .
Mouth snoring, i.e., flabby tissue in the palatal region, can lead to obstructive sleep apnea as well. This is the case when loose tissue from the upper oral cavity (palatal arch and adjacent tissue areas) “hangs” backwards towards the upper airways, thus narrowing them or closing them off. Again, it is essential that you consult an ENT physician or a somnologist to clarify the matter. Breathing stops can be dangerous. Therapy in this instance can range from CPAP to EPAP to special anti-snore braces (RonchAP) or surgery.
Although the nose is rarely the main cause for snoring, it is, however, almost always involved in the problem. To put it in different words, you could also say that one will never get rid of his snoring issues when the nose is not clear. This means that regardless of where the snoring cause ultimately lies (in the throat, in the palatal arch or in the tongue base), an unblocked nose is essential. Otherwise you will hardly enjoy quiet sleep even after solving the main cause. When dealing with this issue, there is a huge difference between temporary impairments and permanent problems in the nose.
Permanent problems are for example polyps, an enlarged nasal concha bone or a deviated nasal septum – in many instances these impairments can only be solved with a surgery. The usual remedies against snoring, such as the use of nasal dilators , cannot address these complaints. But nasal dilators can, however, be helpful against issues such as small nostrils or an unstable nasal vestibule. In the latter case, the nasal wings contract or even collapse when you inhale through the nose too excessively. The nostrils can not only be widened from the inside by using such nose vents (also called nasal dilators), but also from the outside – with the help of a nasal strip. You may still remember these strips from back then: They were often used by soccer players in the 90es, but didn’t catch on in sports because their adhesive and the “pull open effect” got weaker once the skin became moist (sweat).
If the nasal mucosae are swollen, you will also not get enough air through the nose. Here too, you should address the reasons. If allergies are the cause, then nasal dilators with integrated air filters can help. They filter allergenic particles (animal hair, pollen, house dust) out of inhaled breathing air. This filtering prevents these particles from settling on the mucous membranes and causing allergic reactions there (=including the previously described swellings of the tissue). It can also make sense to clean the mucosae’s surface with a nasal rinse to reduce the swelling and remove excess nasal secretion. For this purpose, a neti pot is a great option, but nasal sprays or inhalations can help as well.
Snoring With Your Mouth Closed („Retrovelar Snoring“) – A Snoring Form With Particularly High Frustration Potential!
A special form of „nasal snoring“ is the position independent snoring with the mouth remaining closed. Those who are affected tend to have a particularly hard time finding the right device to stop their snoring. Because the better known and prevalent snore stoppers, such as snoring mouthpieces, position trainers or mouth guards (for mouth snoring) do not help in these cases. The vibration “sits” in the upper area of the oropharynx and thus in an area that these snoring aids cannot reach.
This type of snoring is sometimes also termed „retrovelar snoring“. It occurs because the soft tissue in the upper area of the oropharynx is set into vibration. In simple terms, it is the side of the soft palate facing back to the throat that is set in motion.
To solve this issue, you should at first ensure that you can breathe in enough air through the nose. Bn most cases, retrovelar snoring is associated with impaired nasal breathing. Take our nose-free test. Its results would show whether the problem can be solved easily by using a nasal dilator or if you should rather consult an ENT specialist. In the latter case, the nose would have to be opened up through surgery. Indeed, free nasal respiration often eases the snoring problem. But it can’t stop retrovelar snoring. Only anti-snore braces such as Velumount or Ronchex address the real source of the issue. The device stabilizes the tissue in the soft palate and at its rear side.
This form of snoring can also lead to obstructive sleep apnea when the retrovelar tissue obstructs or blocks the airways. In this case, a professional anti-snore brace (RonchAP) can be a good alternative to CPAP therapy.
Throat Snoring („Pharyngeal Snoring“)
Snoring can also occur in the throat region (oropharynx). When the tissue of the throat wall starts to relax, this can form constrictions in the respiratory tract. In these narrow spaces, air turbulences and vibrations occur, resulting in snoring noises.
Also in the case of pharyngeal snoring, it is best to ensure a good nasal breathing. Narrow nostrils can lead to very low pressure in the throat, thus resulting in a further narrowing of the airways. Take our nose-free test to determine whether a nasal dilator can help or if you should rather go see an ENT-doctor.
The actual cause of throat snoring can then be remedied either by using special anti-snore braces (RonchAP) or EPAP-therapy . Mild acute forms of throat snoring can alternatively be tackled through targeted anti-snoring trainings or behavioral therapy . If enlarged tonsils (“palatal tonsils”) are the cause of snoring because they create bottlenecks in the airways, then they should be removed operatively (so-called tonsillectomy). In this case, too, the ENT doctor is the proper contact person.
Throat snoring can occur both as a simple, non-sick snoring and as a pathological, obstructive snoring. The pathological form occurs relatively often: This means that, regardless of the sleeping position, the upper airways are obstructed or even blocked. If you suspect that you might suffer from such position-independent obstructive sleep apnea, you should in any case consult with a specialized doctor (ENT / somnologist). There are several therapy options, EPAP therapy, anti-snore braces or CPAP. In case of severe, position-independent sleep apnea, usually only CPAP is a viable therapy (in some rare cases, also surgery).