Snoring is merely an annoying habit to most people, something that may take away a few minutes of sleep but isn’t really any cause for concern. In most cases, that’s true—although for a small percentage of snorers the problem runs a little deeper. Snoring tends to increase with age and is more likely in people who smoke, drink alcohol, or are overweight. Sometimes it’s the way you sleep (lying on your back makes you more likely to snore) or just the way you were born (narrow throats and cleft palates contribute to snoring).
When snoring becomes intrusive—that is, it keeps you or your partner awake at night—you may want to look into anti snoring devices. There are lots of different types on the market, each addressing a different cause, so it’s important to know what’s causing your snoring. A quick check-up with your doctor can help narrow down possible causes and point you to the right type. Your doctor can even recommend a few products for you.
The simplest and perhaps most popular anti snoring device is a jaw support. The concept is simple: it keeps your jaws closed and your airways (mouth, throat, and nasal cavity) open while you sleep, allowing air to pass freely. The Mandibular Advancement Splint works on the same principle, except that it’s much more complex: you wear it in your mouth and it pushes your jaw forward, straightening the muscles of your airway. This keeps them from vibrating when you breathe. It is often used to control obstructive sleep apnea, wherein your airways are blocked during sleep.
You may also opt for an anti snoring mask, an approach known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). The mask is worn over your nose or mouth (or both) and hooked to an air machine, letting air flow continuously over your nostrils. It also increases pressure your throat’s air pressure so that it doesn’t collapse or fall when you inhale.
Another common device is the anti snoring pillow. Also known as an orthopedic pillow, it is designed to keep you in a position that keeps your airways open. This usually involves aligning your head with your spine. In addition to controlling snoring, it can also address other conditions such as breathing problems, back pain, and neck pain.
Pillar implants are a more intrusive method, although it’s mostly painless. Small “pillars” are inserted at the top of your throat, stiffening your soft palate and thereby eliminating the vibrations that cause snoring. This method can only be used for snorers whose problem has been traced to soft palate vibration, so make sure to consult your doctor before opting for the implants.