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Adaptive Servo Ventilation (ASV) and CPAP Therapy

Snoring is the most common and recognizable symptom of sleep apnea, a serious and sometimes life threatening sleep disorder.  There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.  Both types have several forms of treatment options but the most commonly prescribed and used treatment for both is the use of Positive Airway Pressure therapy or PAP.  There are specific types of PAP units for each type of apnea.  Those with obstructive sleep apnea get treatment from a

CPAP machine and those with central sleep apnea use an Adaptive Servo Ventilation machine. To better understand how the units treat the apneas, it is important to know the difference between OSA and CSA first.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea at the moment.  OSA occurs when you stop breathing throughout your sleep in the middle of the night.  The pause in breathing can last for several seconds and can occur up to 100 times in just one night.  This pause in breathing is caused by an obstruction in the airway.  The obstruction could be caused by your tongue relaxing and blocking the flow of air, or it could be related to sinus congestion or excessive phlegm buildup in the throat.  Other causes could be problems with a deviated septum, adenoid issues, or inflamed tonsils.  The most common sign of OSA is loud snoring followed by an abrupt pause in snoring, which is when the body stops breathing, and then followed by a deep breath and loud snore.  This occurs because your body is trying to catch your breath after it has just momentarily paused.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

Central sleep apnea is different from obsructive sleep apnea in that the body stops breathing because there was no signal from the brain telling the respiratory system to breathe.  Central sleep apnea is not as common as OSA but is still just as dangerous.  In both cases, there is a lack of oxygen going into the body and most importantly into the brain.  When the body is lacking oxygen, it in turn has an over abundance of carbon dioxide, which leads to several chronic and life threatening medical conditions.

There are several causes of central sleep apnea:

Being Overweight or Obese

Central sleep apnea can also occur due to you being overweight or obese.  Inflammation and high blood pressure typically fall hand in hand with being overweight.  Both of these conditions can impact the health of your brain and if the nerves happen to misfire at all, it could trigger central sleep apnea to take place.

The Use or Overuse of Narcotics

The use or misuse rather of opioids and narcotics in the United States and Canada has tremendously increased in recent years.  These pain killers will actually numb the nerves not only in specific parts of the body where pain is being felt, but also in areas of the brain.  If brain nerves become paralyzed or numb, then there is no way for the body to signal to the respiratory and nervous systems that it needs to breathe in order to survive.  If you currently are using a prescribed opioid or narcotic medicine and think that you suffer from sleep apnea, you should consult your doctor immediately to reevaluate your condition, as this could be life threatening.

 

Brain Stem Malfunctions

Since the underlying reason for central sleep apnea involves brain misfires, it’s common for people who suffer from brain diseases, brain infections, spinal issues or stroke to have central sleep apnea.  Any of these conditions can be the reason why the brain does not signal to the body to breath continuously during the night.

Adaptive Servo Ventilation or ASV

Adaptive Servo Ventilation is specifically designed for people who suffer from central sleep apnea.  This type of therapy is relatively new to the industry and has only been around for a few years.  ASV is non invasive and is said to be more comfortable and user friendly than CPAP machines used to treat obstructive sleep apnea.  The difference is that ASV machines continuously change the pressure flow of air based on the actual person’s breathing patterns.

The most common complaint of users with sleep apnea and undergoing PAP therapy is that the patient has to get used to the continuous flow of oxygen – it’s set at one preset flow and may feel unnatural to the user at first.

ASV differs because it actually has ‘smart’ technology and senses one’s breathing patterns and continuously fluctuates the air pressure so that it still promotes the flow of oxygen but is making it more natural for the patient using it.  Since this technology is so new, there are constant studies being performed

on this therapy to ensure its safety and effectiveness.  In May of 2015, researchers found a disturbing correlation between ASV and chronic heart failure.

It is still unknown as to why ASV promotes heart failure, however it has been recommended to doctors in the industry to avoid suggesting this therapy to people who have chronic hypoventilation, severe lung disease, or neuromuscular disease.

Continuous Positive Air way Pressure or CPAP

CPAP machines have been the gold standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea as they maintain the constant flow of oxygen in through the nose, down the throat, and then into the lungs.  CPAP machines are not recommended for the treatment of central sleep apnea because people with central sleep apnea usually still tend to breath throughout the night but their breathes are more shallow and do not fully capture the oxygen needed.  The forced airflow from the CPAP does not really do anything for that kind of patient because the steady stream of airflow still does not signal to the brain that it should be breathing.  The more natural irregular flow of oxygen from the ASV machine is more effective for those who suffer from central sleep apnea.

It’s important to understand the two different types of PAP machines and treatment options available for central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.  Both therapies are effective as long as you are using the correct PAP device for your apnea.

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Adaptive Servo Ventilation (ASV) and CPAP Therapy Snoring is the most common and recognizable symptom of sleep apnea, a serious and sometimes life threatening sleep disorder.  There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.  Both types have several forms of treatment options but the most commonly prescribed and […] Read More

The Relationship Between OSA, Arthritis and Osteoporosis

Only in recent years have we discovered the relationship between snoring, sleep apnea and several medical conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and ADHD.

We are now learning of two more conditions that are related to snoring and sleep apnea – Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis. While snoring itself does not cause either condition, it is one of the most common symptoms of OSA and because it’s so common, it’s often overlooked and does not receive much attention by both patients and physicians.

Let’s examine these three conditions and then discuss how recent medical research has found a link between the three.

What is OSA?

This image illustrates why OSA occurs

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is classified as a sleep related breathing disorder and it affects nearly 25% of adults 30 years and older. The condition occurs when the airway becomes obstructed during sleep which causes breathing pauses and arouses the body to awaken throughout the night in order to stimulate the airway to clear the obstruction and resume normal breathing. This perpetual cycle occurs throughout the night, causing the affected person to wake up feeling tired and lack energy throughout the day.

The issue with OSA is that stopped breathing, even momentarily, causes carbon dioxide levels to rise and oxygen levels to fall which can lead to a number of other conditions.

In addition, the lack of quality in sleep leads to daytime sleepiness which has a multi-million dollar economic impact due to lost productivity as well as workplace and auto accidents.

What is Osteoporosis and How Does It Relate To OSA?

Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that occurs when bone density is reduced, causing bones to become weak and brittle. It’s most common in people who are older than 50 and the diagnosis often comes as a surprise after one breaks a bone. It’s estimated that over fifty million Americans are affected by this condition. The disease is more common in women – affecting nearly 50% while only 25% of men are affected.

Injuries that are common in those with Osteoporosis include broken hips, wrist, or spine although breakage can occur in a number of other areas. Serious complications can occur after an older person breaks a hip, which is one of the reasons why this condition should be treated soon after discovery.

Osteoporosis can be detected by conducting a bone density test. When examined closely under a microscope, a normal bone structure appears as a honeycomb with tissues formed tightly together. With Osteoporosis, the “holes” become larger due to tissue loss, resulting in bones that are more prone to breaking.

Recent research has found a strong link between sleep apnea and osteoporosis. The results of the research showed that having sleep apnea my increase your risk of developing Osteoporosis by 2.7 times. ‘

While researchers are not completely sure how the two conditions are related, there are a few theories.

One theory has to do with the acidic environment that is caused by oxygen deprivation. As mentioned earlier, with OSA, breathing stops which causes not only a rise in CO2 but also a drop in blood oxygen levels. When oxygen levels are lowered, it causes inflammation which increases acidity in the body which can promote bone loss.

The other theory has to do with the consequences of lack of quality sleep. During sleep, our bodies go into “repair mode”. With OSA, we never fully achieve deep sleep and heart rhythm can be affected which can cause bone metabolism imbalances and ultimately bone loss.

What is Osteoarthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis and How Does It Relate To OSA?

Yet another common medical condition is being linked with sleep apnea – Arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is the most common form of arthritis and is actually classified as an autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 1.3 million american adults, mostly elderly women.

RA occurs when the body mistakes healthy body tissue as a foreign object and attacks it, resulting in pain, swelling, and eventual bone loss and deformity. While this often occurs in joints such at the hands, it can affect other parts of the body including the heart, lungs and skin.

Osteoarthritis is another form of arthritis that also results in inflamed joint and discomfort. The primary difference between osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis has to do with the cause of the disease.

As mentioned, RA is an autoimmune disease that attacks healthy tissue, resulting in inflammation and pain. In comparison, osteoarthritis is caused by physical wear and tear which also causes inflammation. They key difference here is that osteoarthritis is not an autoimmune disease.

Exactly how are sleep apnea and arthritis related?

Once again, we can not say with complete certainty why the two are related, although there’s at least one theory as to why those with sleep apnea are at higher risk of developing arthritis.

With sleep apnea, pauses in breathing cause inflammation within the blood vessels throughout the body. Over time, this constant inflammation may cause arthritis which can appear in the joints as well as other parts of the body.

What Can I Do to Prevent Osteoporosis and Arthritis Caused By OSA?

While it may be some time before we know exactly why OSA contributes to so many conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis, we do know that there is a correlation between each. The question is, what can we do to reduce the risk of developing these and other conditions caused by OSA?

The answer is to get screened for OSA if you suspect that you may have this condition. Common symptoms of OSA include the following:

  • Loud snoring
  • Pauses in breathing while sleeping often followed by snoring or gasping for air
  • High blood pressure
  • Daytime Tiredness
  • Nighttime sweats
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dry mouth or soar throat in the morning
  • Morning headaches
  • Mood changes
  • Depression or Anxiety

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult with your doctor who will evaluate the possibility of OSA. Your physician will ask a series of questions to determine if you should visit a sleep specialist for further evaluation. If sleep apnea is likely, you may be asked to perform an overnight sleep study where several sensors will monitor functions such as heart rate, breathing, brain activity, blood oxygen levels, etc.

If it’s determined that sleep apnea is present, you may be prescribed a CPAP machine or Oral appliance to assist with nighttime breathing which help to prevent apnea events from occurring throughout the night. If you are overweight, your doctor may also help you develop a weight loss plan which is often helpful in treating OSA.

Aside from Osteoporosis and arthritis, OSA can cause several other health conditions. Doctors are only recently paying close attention to this condition as research is showing that OSA is related to so many conditions.

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The Relationship Between OSA, Arthritis and Osteoporosis Only in recent years have we discovered the relationship between snoring, sleep apnea and several medical conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and ADHD. We are now learning of two more conditions that are related to snoring and sleep apnea – Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis. While […] Read More

Sleep Apnea and Anxiety

Snoring and sleep apnea limit the amount of oxygen to the brain leaving an overage of carbon dioxide which may be linked to anxiety.  When the brain is lacking oxygen, certain areas within the brain become impacted by the oxygen shortage and can trigger anxiety, fear, panic attacks, and depression.  This is a serious issue and a lack of oxygen to the brain occurs when a person has sleep apnea.  Is there a link between snoring, sleep apnea, and anxiety?  Let’s take a closer look at the evidence behind this.

High carbon dioxide levels in the body can increase acidity in the body – specifically in the amygdala.

The amygdala is a piece of gray matter located in the cerebral hemisphere of the brain.  It’s main function is to control emotions that include motivation, fear, and stress.  So what does sleep apnea have to do with the amygdala?  First you must understand what happens during sleep apnea and how oxygen becomes limited to the brain.

Sleep Apnea – Step by Step

You Fall Asleep

Some people use sleep aids in order to fall asleep at night.  These can include alcohol, prescription drugs, or narcotics.  All of these sleep aids may cause you to over-relax, especially if you sleep on your back, and may promote the relaxation of your tongue.

A Blockage in the Airway Occurs

When the tongue relaxes, it rests towards the back of your mouth and actually blocks your airway, prohibiting the flow of oxygen to your body and the brain.  Other airway blockages can occur that do not relate to the tongue.  These include excessive phlegm located in the back of the throat or mouth, congestion in the nose, and excessive fat deposits in the neck due to being overweight or obese.  Whatever reason for the blockage, in one form or the other, it obstructs the flow of oxygen while you sleep.

Snoring Begins

Loud, obnoxious snoring is one of the main indicators that you suffer from sleep apnea.  Snoring is directly related to the obstruction in your airway.  When the blockage of air occurs, again for whatever reason above, it narrows the airway passage that carries oxygen into the lungs and the rest of the body.  Although the passageway is narrow, oxygen is still able to get in, and it finds a way to bypass the obstruction and continue to flow.  The back of the mouth and throat is lined with tiny flabby tissues and when the air flows passed these flabby tissues trying to make its way into the lungs, the tissues start to gently vibrate as you inhale.  The vibrating tissues create a noise as the oxygen flows by and this is the resulting sound of snoring.

Oxygen is Limited to the Brain

The blockage in your airway limits the amount of oxygen flowing into your lungs and causes you to stop breathing for several seconds.  This is commonly witnessed by your partner sleeping next to you.  Since the snoring is usually loud and burdensome, it’s easy for the bed partner to notice the loud snoring and then abruptly hear complete silence.  This moment is when your body has stopped breathing.  The flow of oxygen to the brain has completely stopped. It can be very scary for the bed partner to hear or witness this.  It’s very dangerous and sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that needs to be addressed with your doctor.

The Brain Realizes it’s not getting Oxygen

When the flow of oxygen stops, the brain quickly realizes that it has an abudnance of carbon dioxide present.  This increases brain acidity and it activates proteins and the amygdala that cause fear and anxiety. The brain activates the nervous system at this point and signals to the respiratory system that it needs to breathe again immediately.

You Wake up Startled, Frightened, and Try to catch your Breath

Once the lungs start to function again, you inhale a deep breath of oxygen and usually awake and sit up frantically gasping for air because your brain signals to you that you were oxygen deprived.  The feeling of fear is also triggered in this moment due to the high acidity levels now present in the brain.  It may take a second or two for you to realize that you couldn’t breathe and then you lay back down.  In some cases though, the person with the sleep apnea takes a loud gasping breath but does not wake up and just continues to sleep and snore again.  When you have sleep apnea, you unknowingly awaken, breathe, forget you woke up to breathe, and then go right back at it again.  This is the most dangerous part of having sleep apnea because if you do not have a bed partner to witness this, you may never know that you snore or stop breathing.

The Process Repeats

Some people who suffer from sleep apnea can stop breathing anywhere from 4-55 times a night, based on the severity of the sleep disorder.

What are the causes of sleep apnea?

There are several reasons why a person develops sleep apnea.  These include:

  • Having large adenoids
  • Having large tonsils
  • Deviated septum
  • Jawbone issues
  • An airway blockage due to:
    • Being obese or overweight
    • Nasal Congestion
    • Relaxed throat muscles
    • Relaxed tongue from sleeping on your back, drinking alcohol, or the use of certain medications

What you can do to stop or prevent snoring and sleep apnea

The first step in preventing snoring and sleep apnea is to consult with your doctor on the matter.  Your physician will refer you to a sleep clinic and you will most likely undergo an overnight or at-home sleep study in order to determine the presence of sleep apnea.  If you do have sleep apnea, there are a series of treatment options available that include CPAP therapy, the use of oral appliances, surgery, or other holistic treatments.

Snoring & Anxiety

As mentioned above, the lack of oxygen passing to the brain can trigger brain matter and proteins to produce unnecessary acids which then impact the amygdala, where fear emotions are managed.  This can lead to anxiety during your night’s sleep but also may progress into short term or long term anxiety issues.  If you are able to have the sleep apnea diagnosed and then treated, the anxiety should disappear, however may still linger with some patients.  Here is a list of recognizable signs of anxiety below.

Signs of Anxiety

  • excessive and exaggerated worry
  • physical twitches or chest pain that mean no harm medically
  • being overwhelmed by small things or non-issues
  • stress
  • nausea
  • dizziness

When you do not get a deep night’s sleep due to being woken up in the middle of the night from sleep apnea, the nervous system is not fully rested and can create anxious thoughts and feelings that leave you stressed, irritable, or nervous.  Make sure you schedule an appointment with your doctor in order to address any concerns related to sleep apnea, snoring, and anxiety.

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Sleep Apnea and Anxiety Snoring and sleep apnea limit the amount of oxygen to the brain leaving an overage of carbon dioxide which may be linked to anxiety.  When the brain is lacking oxygen, certain areas within the brain become impacted by the oxygen shortage and can trigger anxiety, fear, panic attacks, and depression.  This […] Read More

Routinely waking up each morning with an unexpected headache is a concern that should be appropriately addressed as it may be an indicator of an underlying condition.

While there are a number of possible explanations for morning headaches such as severe high blood pressure, dehydration, hangovers,  bruxism, low blood sugar, and caffeine withdrawal, we are going to examine the possibility of morning headaches that are related to sleep apnea.

If you are experiencing morning headaches, it’s important to speak with your doctor who will be able help you identify the issue and discuss proper treatment.

How Obstructive Sleep Apnea Can Cause Morning Headaches

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep related breathing disorder that is characterized by a breathing pause while asleep. This condition is fairly common in the United States, affecting an estimated 18 million American adults. Disturbingly, only a small fraction of those affected are aware of their condition.

Among the long list of symptoms related to OSA is morning headaches which is a fairly common symptom along with daytime tiredness, loud snoring,  and difficulty concentrating. There are several other symptoms that are related to this condition.

What exactly does sleep apnea have to do with morning headaches? As mentioned, with OSA pauses in breathing occur while asleep. This is a result of the flow of air being physically cut off due to an obstruction, hence the “obstructive” portion of OSA. This obstruction can be caused by the relaxing of the airway which occurs when we sleep. Relaxing of the airway is caused by age, weight gain, alcohol and sedative use, or simply due to how we are genetically built.

An airway obstruction causes breathing to stop.

When an obstruction occurs, air is unable to travel to and from the lungs. Due to the lack of oxygen, the body responds by awakening you (often without you ever remembering in the morning) in order to stimulate the airway which clears the obstruction. This cycle can occur several times per hour which is why those with OSA experience daytime tiredness.

Another consequence of obstructed breathing is the rise of carbon dioxide in the blood and deprived oxygen.

When air is unable to enter the lungs, blood oxygen levels tend to drop. Additionally, air that is unable to escape the lungs due to an obstruction will cause a rise in carbon dioxide levels which is primarily what we breathe out. Carbon dioxide becomes trapped in the lungs and tends to build. As a result, blood vessels within the head begin to dilate which results in morning headaches and migraines. Said backwards, morning headaches are the result of dilated blood vessels that are caused by a build up of CO2 which is caused by lack of oxygen which is caused by an airway obstruction which is caused by age and or extra fat. It’s a vicious compounding cycle that is caused by OSA and often goes undiagnosed.

What Can Be Done to Treat Morning Headaches Caused By OSA?

Treating morning headaches that are caused by OSA is accomplished by treating the root of the problem which is of course OSA. Today’s treatment options often include weight loss, CPAP, and Oral Appliance Therapy. Recently, the American College of Physicians (ACP)  has set new guidelines which place a heavy emphasis on weight loss as a first line treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea. A short summary of each treatment option follows.

Weight Loss

While not all who experience OSA are overweight, a disproportionate number of individuals are. This is clearly demonstrated by the correlation between weight gain in the United States and the rise of sleep apnea.

What exactly does carrying extra weight have to do with sleep apnea?  Carrying extra fat, particularly in the neck area, applies downward pressure on the airway. This is especially true when one sleeps on their back which allows gravity to weigh accumulated fat against the airway.

It’s well known that obesity and OSA are often closely related. Because of this, the ACP guidelines now recommend weight loss along with CPAP therapy as a method of controlling OSA. Loosing only a small portion of weight can have a dramatic effect on restoring normal breathing function during sleep which may result in not having to depend upon equipment to facilitate nighttime breathing.

Continues Positive Airway Pressure 

Long considered the “gold standard” of OSA treatment, the Continues Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is one of the most prescribed treatment methods for OSA. With CPAP therapy, a continuous stream of air is delivered to the face from a CPAP machine. This stream of air effectively “blows open” the airway which treats the obstruction and allows normal breathing to occur.

It’s likely that you have hard of CPAP therapy because someone that you know may use one. The reason why the CPAP has become the most popular treatment option is because it’s simply very effective when used as directed, although long-term compliance is one of the biggest challenges faced by patients. Machines that are not properly adjusted, masks that are not a good fit or machines that dry out the airway due to lack of humidity cause patients to discontinue use within weeks of beginning.

Oral Appliance Therapy

As the name implies, Oral Appliance Therapy involves therapy that uses an oral appliance or mouthpiece. A physician will create a custom fitted mouthpiece that works by holding the mandible forward. In doing so it helps by relieving pressure from the airway caused by the jaw falling backwards at night.

While oral appliances are not prescribed nearly as often as CPAP machines, they are becoming increasingly popular, especially for those who have mild to moderate sleep apnea. One of the greatest advantages of oral appliances is that they don’t come with the burden of carrying around a large machine, tubing, and a mask. A oral appliance is simply inserted into the mouth before going to bed and is removed in the morning. Also, oral appliances do not require electricity to operate so you can take them with you nearly anywhere that you travel.

Oral appliances that are used to treat non-OSA related snoring can be ordered online. Our website has extensive information on the use of an oral appliance for snoring. Remember that you should always consult a doctor if you suspect that your snoring is related to OSA.

Final Thoughts On Headaches and OSA?

If you are constantly experiencing morning headaches, it’s important to discuss these and other symptoms that you may be experiencing with your doctor who can provide their professional opinion. If your doctor determines that you have sleep apnea and it may be the root cause of the morning headaches, it’s important to seek treatment quickly as your body may be deprived of oxygen and or is holding carbon dioxide, both of which have harmful effects on the body.

Morning headaches that are caused by OSA are typically easy to treat, however, the link between the two is often not discovered by doctors and OSA is commonly left undiagnosed.

Treatment options include weight loss, oral appliance therapy, and CPAP. There are also alternative treatment options such as positional therapy, and surgeries such as Laser-assisted uvulopalathoplasty.

 

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Routinely waking up each morning with an unexpected headache is a concern that should be appropriately addressed as it may be an indicator of an underlying condition. While there are a number of possible explanations for morning headaches such as severe high blood pressure, dehydration, hangovers,  bruxism, low blood sugar, and caffeine withdrawal, we are […] Read More

According to a study conducted at Standford University, those that are clinically diagnosed with depression are more at risk of developing sleep apnea compared to those that are not depressed.  The study showed that those with depression were five times more likely to be diagnosed with sleep apnea.  Researchers are still studying whether or not the depression or sleep apnea starts first, but either way, there is a strong correlation between the two.

The UCLA Sleep Center has also done a tremendous amount of research on sleep disorders and has found that depression may not be the reason for not sleeping well at night, but that depression symptoms may occur due to an underlying sleep disorder.  The most common sleep disorder is sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea causes the body to miss breathes during your sleep which prevents the flow of oxygen to the brain.

Sleep Apnea

To better understand how depression and sleep apnea are linked, it’s important to understand what sleep apnea is, what the noticeable symptoms are, and how it’s treated.

What Happens When you Have Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

 

Loud disruptive snoring

Disruptive snoring is typically noticed by your bed partner.  Extremely loud snoring is usually followed by a noticeable pause and then a huge gasp for air which may or may not wake you during the night.

Not breathing while asleep

This is typically noticed by your bed partner as well and is very scary for most people that witness it.  You can actually hear the pause in breathing and may wonder when the person is going to start breathing or snoring again.

Dry mouth

Many people with sleep apnea experience a dry mouth when they wake up in the morning or may even have one during the day.  Most people with sleep apnea are mouth breathers, so when the air is ingested through the mouth, it tends to dry out the  mouth and throat and saliva is not produced as abundantly.

Sore throat

Waking up to a dry mouth or sore throat are both normal symptoms of sleep apnea.  The flow of air continuously passing down the throat during your sleep tends to dry out the mouth and decrease saliva production.  This in turn dries out the throat and may become irritated or scratchy.

Waking up to choking or gasping for breathes

This is one of the most noticeable symptoms of sleep apnea and is usually witnessed by another bed partner.

Daytime drowsiness and lack of energy

Your body needs oxygen in order to survive and sleep apnea seriously decreases the flow of oxygen to the brain.  This is not only dangerous, but impacts a good night’s sleep for your body.  When you are not well-rested, you tend to lack energy throughout the day.

Falling asleep while driving or working

This goes hand in hand with daytime drowsiness.  Many people endure long commutes to and from work and sleep apnea may put you at risk of falling asleep at the wheel during your commute.

Sleep Apnea Treatments

Oral Appliances

An oral appliance resembles a sports mouth guard or mouthpiece.  Its purpose is to hold the jaw in the optimal position in order to keep the airway open and clear, thus preventing snoring from occurring.  Oral appliances are effective at treating snoring, but only some are approved to treat sleep apnea.

Surgeries

There are several types of surgeries that can stop snoring and sleep apnea all together.  These surgeries include the Pillar Procedure, a tracheostomy, maxillomandibular advancement, or a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty.  Depending on the surgery, some can be minimally invasive and can be done in a few simple out patient visits.  Others require overnight stays and up to weeks or months of recovery time.

CPAP Therapy

CPAP Therapy is the most common treatment for sleep apnea.  CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure.  The CPAP machine has become widely used in the sleep disorder industry.  The machine itself constantly pumps oxygen through a hose and into a nose or face mask.  This positive flow of oxygen prohibits the body from pausing and missing a breath.  The machines have come a long way in recent years and are very quiet, small, and are easy to travel with.  Most insurance providers cover CPAP therapy.  You must consult with your doctor if you think you have sleep apnea so they can schedule a sleep study.  If you are officially diagnosed, the CPAP therapy will be the first recommended treatment for your sleep disorder.

Depression

Signs of Depression

  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Increased Sleep or Unable to sleep
  • Lack of energy
  • Guilty Feelings
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unable to make decisions easily – indecisiveness
  • Feeling worthless
  • Reoccurring sad moods
  • Irritability

How to Treat Depression

Antidepressants

There are several different types of antidepressants on the market that are used to treat depression.  The most common types of these medicines are known as SSRI’s which are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.  These medicines re-balance any chemical imbalance in the brain which is most likely the culprit of the depression.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a treatment option for those who do not want to be put on antidepressants for various reasons.  It involves talking through a series of topics that relate to your lifestyle, work, and personal life with a psychologist.  Psychotherapy is not for everyone, but it is an effective treatment for depression.

Holistic Treatments

There are other natural holistic treatments out there that can positively benefit someone that is depressed.  The most common forms of holistic treatments include regular exercise, yoga and natural breathing exercises, the use of essential oils, and changing your diet to one that is all natural, healthy, and balanced.

How Sleep Apnea and Depression My be Linked

Sleep apnea can be very disruptive if it’s gone untreated.  It may cause daytime drowsiness and can impact your family life.  All of these complications may just be a recipe for depression.  Sleep apnea and snoring can impact your daily routine and quality of life.  A good night’s rest makes you alert during the day, gives you more energy, helps to think clearer, and promotes good decision making.  If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, all of these positive impacts from not getting sleep can be turned upside down and may lead to depression without you even seeing the connection.

Linked Sleep Apnea and Depression Symptoms

  • Lack of Participation in Activities
  • Inability to sleep
  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Irritability and mood wings
  • Daytime drowsiness

The above symptoms are found in both sleep apnea and depression.  It’s difficult to define which symptoms started with sleep apnea or with depression, but the point is that they do relate to each other and one disorder may link the other.

In conclusion, the similarities between sleep apnea, snoring, and depression are very similar.  It’s difficult for doctors to blame one causing the other, however their symptoms correlate tremendously.  Consult your doctor if you think you suffer from sleep apnea or depression.  There are treatment options for both and you deserve a good night’s sleep and a healthy mind.

 

 

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According to a study conducted at Standford University, those that are clinically diagnosed with depression are more at risk of developing sleep apnea compared to those that are not depressed.  The study showed that those with depression were five times more likely to be diagnosed with sleep apnea.  Researchers are still studying whether or not […] Read More

Parkinson’s disease affects nearly 10 million people worldwide and 4 million of them suffer from snoring and sleep apnea.

What is Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that attacks neurons located in the brain.  The neurons release a chemical called dopamine which causes the brain to lose control of body movement and function.  The more dopamine is released, the more spastic the body movements become and cannot be controlled.

Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

Noticeable signs of Parkinson’s include:

  • Serious Hand, Arm, and Leg Tremors

    • One of the most recognizable symptoms of Parkinson’s are tremors.  They occur in the hands, arms, legs, and even in the face.  They are uncontrollable by the patient and can become very burdensome and frustrating for the individual as the disease becomes more chronic.  Some patients are not aware of the tremors in the early stages of Parkinson’s.  The same is true for the later stages, when they lose all feeling and control during the tremor movements.
  • Stiff Body Movement

    • Stiffness in the body can also occur.  Stiffness in the muscles is referred to as rigidity.   The muscles tighten and are not as flexible as they once were.  The stiffness may look like partial paralysis in certain limbs including the legs, arms, feet, and neck.
  • Slowness or Impaired Movement

    • Another symptom of Parkinson’s is slowness or impaired movement in the body and actions – commonly referred to as Bradykinesia.  Spontaneous and quick movements or impulses are typically eliminated or are seen on rare occasions.
  • Loss of Balance

    • Losing your balance is also a common symptom of Parkinson’s.  Typically many of these symptoms are occurring at the same time and it may be difficult to walk and keep your balance when you have leg and arm tremors happening alongside the tightening of your muscles.  Many patients use a wheelchair as their symptoms worsen over time.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome

    • Restless leg syndrome is usually a side effect that occurs at night.  Nighttime can be extremely difficult for those with Parkinson’s since medicine keeps them and their partner awake.  Restless legs can interrupt sleep and also prevent one from falling asleep.
  • Sleep Apnea and Snoring

    • Snoring is a side effect of sleep apnea, and apnea is present in at least forty percent of Parkinson’s patients.  Some antidepressants trigger sleep apnea which may be prescribed to patients.  Other airflow obstructions can also occur which limits the amount of oxygen to the brain, which is already stressed from the disease.

There currently is not a cure for this disease, however it can be treated with a range of medicines and surgeries in order to manage the side effects as best as possible.

Parkinson’s & Sleep Apnea

One of the many side effects of Parkinson’s is interrupted sleep and nighttime disturbances.  Due to the tremors and limb stiffness, it is often difficult for those with Parkinson’s to fall asleep.  These interruptions can also wake you up if you are in the middle of a deep sleep.  Discomfort due to limb rigidity and tremor movements do not help the situation either.  Some medicines can also interrupt sleep and some patients end up getting their days and nights mixed up from certain prescription medicines.

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, over 40% of Parkinson’s Disease patients suffer from sleep apnea.  Many people with Parkinson’s are loud snorers as well, a symptom of sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea and snoring occur when there is an obstruction in the airway.  When air has to find another route around an obstruction, it passes down the throat near the sides of the pharynx next to the fatty mouth tissues.  These tissues start to vibrate as the air hits them and the vibration creates the loud sound of snoring.  Sleep apnea comes into play when your body actually pauses breathing or snoring, and the oxygen flowing into your body and brain become interrupted.  When this happens, you literally stop breathing.  When your body senses this stop, a signal from the brain is sent and you wake up (sometimes unknowingly) and start breathing again, usually with a deep gasp for air or extremely loud snore.  This type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea or OSA.

Another type of sleep apnea is known as central sleep apnea.  Central sleep apnea (CSA) is also linked to Parkinson’s disease because unlike an obstruction in the airway in OSA, CSA results in a miscommunication from the brain.  The brain fails to signal the muscles in your respiratory system to breath, thus skipping a breath or multiple breathes.  This is more common in Parkinson’s patients since neurons in the brain are already malfunctioning and producing dopamine.  Scientists relate sleep apnea with Parkinson’s due to these brain malfunctions, which is why the presence of sleep apnea is so common in the disease.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatments for Parkinson’s

There are several types of treatments and therapies out there specifically to treat snoring and sleep apnea.  Let’s look at a few options below.

Sleep Apnea Treatment for Parkinson’s Patients

The main treatment for sleep apnea not only for Parkinson’s patients but for the vast majority of sleep apnea sufferers is the use of a CPAP machine.  CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure and it is a therapy for treating obstructive sleep apnea.  The CPAP machine is a small lunchbox sized machine that sits on your night stand or next to your bed with a series of tubes connected to a face mask.  The person wears the face mask which is attached to a tube where oxygen is being pumped by the machine and into your nose.  The oxygen is pumped by a steady flow consistently throughout the night so that there is no breathing pattern interruption.

Work with your doctor to determine which type of sleep apnea you are experiencing.  Your doctor will administer a sleep study to better understand your sleeping patterns and the extent of the apnea.

Snoring Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

There are several snoring treatments available on the market.  Over the counter products include nasal cones, nasal strips, nasal sprays, essential oils, and night guards.  Prescription based products including snoring mouthpieces and tongue stabilizing devices can also be quite effective.  Surgical procedures like the pillar procedure and a tonsillectomy are also other more invasive options.  It’s important to consult your doctor when deciding on the best snoring solution for you or a loved one with Parkinson’s disease.

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Parkinson’s disease affects nearly 10 million people worldwide and 4 million of them suffer from snoring and sleep apnea. What is Parkinson’s Disease Parkinson’s is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that attacks neurons located in the brain.  The neurons release a chemical called dopamine which causes the brain to lose control of body movement and function. […] Read More

Nose cones and Mouthguards, What’s the Difference?

Nose cones, vents, dilator, clips, no matter what you call them they all serve the same purpose which is to hold your nostrils open to maximize breathing for better sleeping and less snoring. Nose cones are sold under a variety of names including WoodyKnows, P&J Health, NoseDoze, Turbine, Stanaway, Enshey, Snore Stopper, Mute, Sleep Well, MaxAir, as well several dozen other names. As for price, they can be purchased for as little as $3 and as much as $20.

What’s A Nose Cone and How Do They Stop Snoring?

Nose cones are typically made from a soft plastic or silicone material and are made in a number of different shapes. Some, such as Mute or WoodyKnows are a clip style that fit inside of the nose and are designed with rings that expand the nostril out and open. The advantage of the clip style is that it takes up very little room in the nostril which allows for a greater volume of air to flow unobstructed.

Then there are the basket style vents which are typically cylinder shaped or cone shaped. These are usually larger in size in comparison to the clip style which can be counterproductive as they consume a bit of space within the nostril and restrict airflow. One advantage of this style of nose cone is that they are easy to find and relatively inexpensive.

The last type is not actually a clip or cone but rather a flexible strip that fits on the outside of the nose and dilates the nostrils by attaching to the outside of the nostril and actually pulling it open using a spring-like action. The most well known brand of nasal strips is Breathe Right. Of the three types, nasal strips are the least obstructive because they fit on the outside of the nose and do not cause any resistance. The downside to using nasal strips to dilate the nostrils is that they are disposable and must be replaced every night. Also, attaching them to the face that is not completely free of oil and dirt, as a clean surface is necessary to ensure proper adhesion and functioning.

While there are several reasons why people choose to use nose dilators, the primary use is typically to clear up sinus congestion and prevent snoring by opening the nasal passages.

Seasonal allergy sufferers or those who are experiencing a cold will find relief with nose dilators, but what about those who are interested in using one of these products to prevent snoring? How can they help to prevent snoring?

Snoring often originates in one of two parts of the body, the nasal passage or more commonly, the airway. In some cases, snoring may occur in both the airway and nasal passage.

Nasal passages can become restricted for a number of reasons and when this occurs, snoring sometimes occurs as air is unable to travel without being slowed down. As air attempts to move around swollen air passages, nasal tissue can vibrate which results in the sound of snoring.

What’s A Snoring Mouth guard And How Do They Prevent Snoring?

Another popular snoring solution is often referred to as a snoring mouth guard or mouthpiece. Like nose cones, mouth guards are also sold by a number of manufacturers such as SleepTight, zQuiet, Good Morning Snore Solution, Zyppah, SnoreRx, PureSleep, and many others.  Unlike nose cones, mouth guards focus more on opening the airway rather than the nasal passages.

As for mouth guards, there are only two different types – those that hold the jaw forward and those that hold the tongue forward. Both types are equally effective, however each has it’s own advantages as well as disadvantages.

Jaw-retaining mouth guards are the most popular type of mouth guard. They were originally only available from a dentist but several at-home versions have become available in recent years. This type is custom fitted inside of the mouth and sits sandwiched between the upper and lower teeth with the lower tray positioned slightly in front of the upper. While worn in place during sleep, it positions the jaw forward which relieves pressure that’s typically present within the airway. In turn, this helps to open the airway and free it of obstruction. The biggest advantage of the jaw-retaining style of mouth guard is that there are plenty to choose from and they are very effective. As for disadvantages, several are large in size which can make getting used to wearing one challenging.

The other type of mouth guard attaches to the tip of the tongue and works by holding the tongue out and forward while sleeping. This style of mouth guard is not as popular as the jaw-retaining style, although they are becoming increasingly popular.

By holding the tongue forward, the same group of muscles are targeted which reduces any pressure that’s exerted in the airway region, allowing for proper airflow. The advantage of the tongue retaining mouth guards is that a fitting is typically not required and they take up very little room within the mouth. As for disadvantages, tongue soreness may occur within the first few nights of use which typically clears up after a few nights.

Nose Cones Vs Mouth guards – Which One Works Better?

Now that we have an understanding of what nose cones and mouth guards are and how they work, let’s get down to the million-dollar question which is ‘which product works better to stop snoring?’, the nose cone or mouth guard?

To answer this question with any level of certainty, you will need to know where your snoring originates from. Have you noticed that your snoring occurs only when you are congested such as when you are under the weather but lessens when your congestion clears up?  Are your nasal passages often inflamed and you are unable to breathe freely through your nose? If this is the case, you may be a nasal snorer and nasal cones may effectively reduce your snoring.

On the other hand, if you have always been a snorer and typically don’t experience issues with your sinuses, it’s likely that your snoring originates from the airway and a mouth guard will be helpful.

If you are unable to pinpoint the location of your snoring, a mouth guard will be your best bet as the vast majority of those who snore experience snoring from their airway.

In some cases, snoring can come from both the nose and airway. In this instance, you may want to try using a combination of both nose cones and a mouthpiece which will allow for the best chances of success.

Snoring can be a challenging nuisance to treat but by choosing the correct product for the needed application, you can avoid some of the expense and disappointment that many people experience when attempting to solve their snoring problem.

In addition to being a nuisance, snoring can also be an indicator of other health issues such as sleep apnea which is a more serious condition. If you have any doubts when it comes to your snoring, it’s always best to first speak with your doctor who can properly diagnose your condition and suggest a solution which may include either nose cones, a mouth guard or a combination of the two.

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Nose cones and Mouthguards, What’s the Difference? Nose cones, vents, dilator, clips, no matter what you call them they all serve the same purpose which is to hold your nostrils open to maximize breathing for better sleeping and less snoring. Nose cones are sold under a variety of names including WoodyKnows, P&J Health, NoseDoze, Turbine, Stanaway, […] Read More

Snoring has become a recent epidemic in the United States in recent years and is causing many snorers as well as their sleeping partners to search for

remedies to treat and stop snoring – one of these snoring treatments is acupuncture.  Acupuncture is a holistic medical procedure that stimulates the body and nervous systems by targeting certain areas that cause snoring.  When these nerves are targeted, they stimulate and heal the body.

The History of Acupuncture

Acupuncture dates back nearly 3,000 years to Ancient China.  The Ancient Chinese medical practices were based on energy forces found in the universe in natural forms.  The energy consisted of two forces called yin and yang.  These forces were complete opposite forms of energy, but when balanced, the world and body were operating in harmony and at peace.

 

The energy found in yin and yang is called Qi (phonetically pronouced ‘chee’).  Qi flows throughout the body and in nature and maintains the constant flow of the opposite forces yin and yang – making them balanced and controlled.  If the Qi ever gets blocked, it needs to be rerouted so the balance can be maintained – this is where acupuncture comes into play.  The Ancient Chinese medicine men believed that by performing acupuncture, the Qi would become unblocked, stimulating the body to function again and continue the flow of energy.

 

These ancient practices have been passed down over the generations and are still used today in the modern-day healthcare system to treat pain, and stimulate the nervous, immune, and digestive systems.  Acupuncture has been proved to resolve pain, restore endocrine system functions, and treat snoring and sleep apnea.

What is Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a healing treatment that stimulates certain points of the body in order to promote self-healing, treat pain, and restore the bodies natural flow of Qi.  The actual process of the treatment involves an acupuncturist inserting sterile needles into the skin at specific acupoints.  Acupoints are precise points on the body that stimulate the nervous system which controls the function of specific areas of the body.  The needles are very thin and fine and most of the time cannot even be felt when they are placed in the skin.  Depending on your reason for acupuncture treatment, up to 100 needles may be placed into the skin in order to activate a certain system in the body.  Many times, heat, pressure or even an electric current may be used in addition to the placement of the needles in order to trigger system functions.  Acupuncture treatments may last up to one hour from start to finish.  Typically the needles remain in the skin for 20-30 minutes, but depending on the treatment, may stay in place for only 5 minutes.

Most people question whether or not the needles will cause bleeding upon insertion or removal.  The answer is no.  The needles are so thin and just barely break the skin, therefore there is no bleeding.  The sessions are usually painless as well.  Some patients do experience some bruising in certain areas of the punctures, but this may or may not happen to everyone.  Some people have very sensitive skin and bruise easily – so in that case, slight bruising may occur.

Each acupuncturist will discuss with you before the treatment a series of questions to make sure that the treatment is right for you.  You must remain calm and still throughout the entire treatment.  Most patients say they feel quite relaxed after the session is over as well.

Everyone reacts differently to their acupuncture treatments and may need more treatments than others based on their situation.  Short term, acute issues typically need 5 or less acupuncture treatments to relieve pain.  Long term, terminal or chronic issues may result in weekly acupuncture visits.

Acupuncture Points to Stop Snoring

So how is acupuncture used to treat snoring?  Two of the main areas in the body that are responsible for snoring are the sinuses located in your nose, and the fatty tissues that line your throat and pharynx.

Acupuncture Treatment Targeting the Sinuses to Stop Snoring

There are several acupoints in the body that can be targeted to relieve sinus pressure, one of the main causes of snoring.  These acupoints are just below the eyebrow where the bridge of your nose connects above the eye.  Other acupoints for targeting the sinuses are on either side of your nostril openings, and just down from there at the base of your cheeks.  These are the areas where the needles will be injected into the skin during treatment.  You can also gently massage these specific areas, known as acupressure, to treat your sinuses and stop or prevent snoring.

Acupuncture Point for the Throat to Stop Snoring

Another acupoint that will be targeted to stop snoring is the throat.  Excess phlegm and mucus buildup in the throat and near the fatty mouth tissues may be the underlying cause of your snoring.  The acupoint that targets these areas is at the top of the nose in between the eyebrows.  It’s referred to as GV24.5 (Governing Vessel 24.5).  This specific point is one of the most commonly triggered acupoints, as it targets snoring and helps sleep apnea.  Other ailments targeted by this acupoint include insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

This is also another acupoint that may be used alongside with acupressure by massaging the area on and off for several minutes.

Where to Get Acupuncture to treat Snoring

It is a common practice for pain relief and is usually administered by chiropractors and holistic doctors.

Can you self administer Acupuncture for snoring?

Yes, and no.  An acupuncturist is a licensed medical doctor that has been trained on acupunture and can administer acupuncture sessions and treatments.  However, you can treat yourself to a certain extent by practicing acupressure.  Acupuncture and acupressure are very similar in that they target acupoints in the body to stimulate nerves and heal.  Acupuncture involves actually piercing through the skin to get to the acupoints, whereas acupressure involves gently massaging the acupoints to stimulate the nerves without the use of needles.  Anyone can perform acupressure, even by yourself and in the comfort of your own home.

Is Acupuncture for snoring covered by insurance?

Acupuncture has been recognized as a holistic treatment for many ailments and diseases and is covered by many insurance providers.  If your insurance does not cover acupuncture sessions, they will run anywhere from $100-$200/visit depending on where you are located.

If you are looking for a holistic approach to treat your snoring or your partner’s snoring, acupuncture may be the way to go.  It’s non-invasive, relatively inexpensive, and effective.  You should always speak with your doctor when making decisions regarding treating snoring or sleep apnea.  Make sure acupuncture is the correct approach for you before scheduling your first appointment.  Whichever snoring solution you choose, I wish you a peaceful and snore-free night’s sleep.

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Snoring has become a recent epidemic in the United States in recent years and is causing many snorers as well as their sleeping partners to search for remedies to treat and stop snoring – one of these snoring treatments is acupuncture.  Acupuncture is a holistic medical procedure that stimulates the body and nervous systems by […] Read More

Why Do I Wake Up With A Sore Throat?

Waking up with a sore throat may be a sign of snoring

It’s 6:00 am and you wake up with a sore throat. The first thought that comes to mind is that you may be coming down with a cold, but you don’t have time to deal with being sick. You have a very busy day at work, the kids have soccer practice after school and you have to spend the evening preparing for an important meeting tomorrow morning. Within the next couple hours your sore throat simply disappears and everything returns to normal.

Does this scenario sound familiar? Each morning, millions of people wake up with a sore throat not knowing exactly what’s causing it. A sore throat in the morning is typically an indication that some type of throat irritation has occurred overnight. While there are several possibilities including Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), snoring is often the culprit.

How Snoring Can Cause A Morning Sore Throat

So, a sore throat that occurs only in the morning may be caused by snoring? How does this occur? There are actually a few explanations as to why snoring happens and how it causes a sore throat.

The first explanation is that for one reason or another, sinus passages become blocked. Common reasons for blocked sinus passages include seasonal allergies which cause inflammation, a sinus infection, nasal polyps, or a deviated septum. When this occurs, our bodies recognize that an alternative path for air to travel is needed. If the sinuses are clogged or obstructed, the mouth is called upon for back up. Throughout the night, the mouth hangs wide open and begins to dry out and become irritated. Air moving past a dry soft palate or uvula can cause this tissue within the airway to strike against each other, causing further irritation as well as the sound of snoring.

Another reason why snoring may be causing a sore throat is due to having poor muscle tone in the throat area. While asleep, the tongue and jaw both relax and fall backwards, causing resistance within the airway. The effects are often compounded if a person consumes alcohol, smokes, or uses sedative prior to falling asleep which further relax the tongue and cause more of an obstruction. Furthermore, those who are overweight may find that extra fat around the neck causes further narrowing of the airway. Air that passes through a narrow airway will cause the tissues within the airway to collide. Those who snore due to an airway restriction sometimes sleep with their mouth open which causes the airway to dry out and become irritated.

Whether snoring is caused by obstructed sinuses or an obstructed airway, the end result is a dried out and irritated throat. The drier the airway becomes, the greater the  intensity of snoring and morning sore throats become worse. It’s a vicious cycle that continues night after night.

5 Ways To Prevent A Sore Throat That Is Caused By Snoring

While snoring is often the cause of a morning sore throat, this is not always the case. Since every individual’s circumstances may differ, it’s critical that you schedule an appointment with your doctor who can further evaluate chronic morning sore throat as well as any other symptoms that you may be experiencing alongside a sore throat. It’s possible that a sore throat may be an indication of not only snoring but Obstructive Sleep Apnea which requires treatment from a physician. There are also a number of other conditions that may cause a morning sore throat such as acid reflex. Because several possibilities do exist, a professional medical examination should be conducted.

If after visiting your doctor they agree that simple snoring is causing your morning sore throats, there are several methods that can be used to reduce snoring and keep your airway moist throughout the night.

Stay Hydrated

One of the best ways to prevent your throat from drying out is to ensure that you are getting enough water each day. A surprising number of people spend their days dehydrated which can not only contribute to a dry mouth while asleep and ultimately snoring, but it can also cause numerous health problems. A lack of water causes the mucus membranes within your throat to dry out and become irritated.

Most of us live busy lives which makes staying hydrated a constant challenge. Make water a part of your daily routine by using these helpful tips.

Clear The Congestion

If snoring is being caused by sinus congestion, tackle the problem by clearing your sinuses. As mentioned, clogged sinuses cause mouth breathing and ultimately a dried throat, snoring, and a sore throat. Reduce the congestion and resume normal breathing through your mouth.

If seasonal allergies are causing congestion, consider using a nasal spray, decongestant or prescription drug to clear your sinuses. There are also other remedies such as the use of a vapor rub or perhaps run a dehumidifier. Also consider the use of powerful essential oils such as eucalyptus.

Also think about using a dehumidifier to help clear up congestion and lubricate the airway.

Nasal Strips or Nasal Cones

Nose cones can help to clear collapsed nasal passages

Another remedy that can assist with sinus congestion is the use of nasal strips or nasal cones. Nasal strips fit on the outside of the nose and attach to the skin. They essentially physically pull the nostrils open using the bridge of the nose for leverage which increases the volume of airflow. Nasal strips can only be used once, so a monthly supply of disposables may be necessary.  Similarly, nasal dilators or nose cones achieve the same results but are placed inside of the nose to help open up the nostrils. Unlike nasal strips, dilators or cones can be used several times as long as good hygiene is practiced.

Try A Chinstrap

Chinstraps, often referred to as snoring chinstraps, can be a helpful tool that one can use to combat open mouth snoring. If your sore throat is being caused because your mouth hangs open at night, you may want to consider using a chinstrap. It is very important to mention that a chinstrap should only be used if your sinuses are free of obstruction. If your sinuses are clogged, you will need to allow your mouth to remain open throughout the night to ensure proper breathing so a chinstrap can not be used.

A chinstrap is typically made from a neoprene material and wraps around the head and jaw to help hold the mouth closed while asleep.

Snoring Mouthpiece

Mouthpieces are a highly effective anti snoring tool

Snoring that originates within the airway, causing a morning dry throat in the morning can often be resolved using a snoring mouthpiece.

Snoring mouthpieces are one of my favorite anti-snoring products simply because they are easy to use and extremely effective. They fit inside of the mouth and hold the jaw and tongue forward which prevents restriction within the airway. Many mouthpieces come with holes at the front which allow some air to enter, so if you are a mouth breather this should not be an issue.

There are several different products on the market, so deciding which one to choose can become a chore. I put together a ranked list of mouthpieces base on personal experience which should help to make the decision easier.

A Summary Of Thoughts On Sore Throats Caused By Snoring

There are several possibilities as to why you may wake up with a sore throat in the morning, snoring being very likely. Before assuming that dry mouth and snoring is the cause of a morning sore throat, first speak with your doctor who can make this determination. If they determine that snoring is the cause, there are several remedies such as hydration, decongestants, nasal dilators, chinstraps or a mouthpiece that can help to prevent snoring and ensure that you wake up sore throat free.

 

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Why Do I Wake Up With A Sore Throat? It’s 6:00 am and you wake up with a sore throat. The first thought that comes to mind is that you may be coming down with a cold, but you don’t have time to deal with being sick. You have a very busy day at work, […] Read More

All About Stop Snoring Pills

In western medicine, we have a pill for nearly every ailment, so it’s quite common for people to seek a pill or tablet for one of the most common issues faced in the American household – snoring.

With no shortage of demand for such a product, several companies have stepped up to the plate and seized the opportunity to provide a snoring solution that comes in a pill form. The claim is that popping a pill or two before bed will allow you and your partner to enjoy a quite night of sleep without the sound of snoring. Do stop snoring pills really work or are they simply another snake oil? We will closely examine stop snoring pills and offer our recommendation on the use of them.

What Exactly Are Stop Snoring Pills?

Anti-snoring pills have been sold under various names such as Snorestop, Snoring Shush, and Snorez. Most products claim to be a homeopathic snoring solution that is safe to use and recommended by pharmacist and doctors. Some even claim to have published medical research proving their effectiveness although we were unable to locate any such research.

What exactly do snoring pills contain that stops snoring? While some manufacturers list their ingredients others give little to no information and state that the ingredients are “proprietary”.

The majority of pills and tablets contain herbal ingredients that are mixed together in somewhat of a bizarre fashion. Examples of ingredients often found in snoring pills are Belladonna, Ephedra vulgaris, Histaminum Hydrochloricum, Hydrastis, Magnesium Stearate, Gambir, and Cassia. Some ingredients such as Belladonna can be toxic at certain levels, although they are commonly diluted enough for homeopathy use.

Anti-snoring pills are typically inexpensive, ranging in price from $10-$20 for a 30 day supply.

How Do They Work?

How exactly does a stop snoring pill work? There are usually one of two different claims that are commonly offered by manufacturers who sell such products.

In some cases, snoring is caused by inflamed nasal passages and airway. With inflammation, breathing is often restricted which can actually cause the sound of snoring. This occurs when air tries to make it’s way though a narrow opening, causing the surrounding airway tissue to collide with each other. Some of the herbal ingredients that are often listed are known to help reduce inflammation. By eliminating inflammation, the airway opens up and the sound of snoring ceases.

Other products claim to work by reducing the amount of mucus in the airway and nasal passages. The reason why this approach may work is because mucus, especially mucus that is excessive and thick, within the airway but may actually cause airway tissue to stick together.

Do Snoring Pills Actually Work?

How far fetched are these claims? Can an herbal blend that reduces inflammation and keeps mucus at bay really help to reduce or eliminate snoring? The answer is yes, it’s possible but it is unlikely to work for most people. The reason being is that while reducing inflammation and mucus does help with snoring, snoring pills are unable to confront the most common area in which snoring occurs.

In the majority of cases, snoring is caused when breathing becomes restricted due to a partially collapsed airway which restricts airflow. There are a number of reasons why the airway becomes collapsed although age and excessive weight are often to blame. As we age, the muscles within our airway lose tone especially while asleep. Being overweight, especially in the neck area, will place additional strain on the airway. Being older and overweight place you at high risk for snoring.

While snoring pills can reduce airway inflammation, such herbal remedies are unable to open an airway that’s essentially pinched off due to a relaxed jaw and tongue. The area of restriction is evident when you look at the illustration below which shows the area in which snoring typically originates.

Alternatives To Snoring Pills

Correcting a snoring problem begins by addressing the problematic area in which snoring typically develops. The Mandibular Advancement Device or Snoring Mouthpieces does just that.

Snoring Mouthpieces are typically made from a thermoplastic material and resemble mouthpieces that are often worn by athletes. While they may appear similar in nature, they are quite different when it comes to design.

A sports mouthguard simply acts as a buffer between teeth to prevent teeth injury during contact sports. A mouthguard that is specifically designed to prevents snoring is made to hold the jaw slightly forward which opens the airway and prevents resistance. With the muscles in this area tight, the airway becomes unrestricted and lose tissues do not flap against each other.  No restriction. No Flapping. No Snoring.

There’s a similar product called a tongue retaining device which actually holds the tongue forward and performs the same function. Both products have lots of medical research confirming their effectiveness.

Just how effective are they? Most studies that have been conducted suggest that snoring mouthpieces at least 75% or greater in effectiveness, making it the most effective snoring solution currently available.

Alternatively, if you are overweight, the most natural way to prevent snoring is to lose some weight. Fat that is stored in the neck area places strain against an airway that is already weakened by age. Those who are overweight typically experience a desirable decrease in snoring by losing as little as 10% of their body weight. In addition to helping with a snoring problem, weight loss may also help to reduce blood pressure as well as lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease. Weight loss should be the ultimate goal but snoring aids can be a helpful way to control snoring in the meantime.

Should I Try Stop Snoring Pills?

Looking at the low cost and ease of use offered by snoring pills, it’s very enticing to give them a try but are they worth trying?

The use of snoring pills may reduce sinus symptoms such as excessive mucus buildup and some inflammation which can in fact contribute to snoring. Unfortunately, sinus congestion is one of the least likely contributors to snoring. Simply stated, anti-snoring pills are unlikely to resolve a snoring problem.

Unless you are able to locate a manufacturer who offers a money back guarantee, I recommend skipping over snoring pills and choosing a snoring mouthpiece which has been clinically proven to work. I’ve tested several different mouthpiece and can attest that they do in fact work. This site will help you choose a mouthpiece that will be a good fit. When choosing a mouthpiece, an important consideration should be whether or not you are a mouth breather. Those who are able to breathe freely thought their nose may want to consider a TSD while all others will be better off going with a MAD.

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All About Stop Snoring Pills In western medicine, we have a pill for nearly every ailment, so it’s quite common for people to seek a pill or tablet for one of the most common issues faced in the American household – snoring. With no shortage of demand for such a product, several companies have stepped […] Read More

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