≡ Menu

How Carrying Extra Weight Contributes to Snoring

Carrying extra fat increases your risk of snoring or OSA

Snoring is an issue that affects over 90 million Americans. Of the 90 million that snore, about a quarter have mild to moderate sleep apnea. These numbers are similar in most other developed countries.

What’s the cause of this epidemic? Why are so many of us snoring? Why is snoring and sleep apnea so prevalent in developed countries such as the US and UK? Perhaps the abundance of calorie dense, fortified junk food is to blame.

Sixty-six percent of Americans are considered obese or overweight.  As we are all aware, obesity can cause a number of ailments which includes snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The reason being is because excessive fat around the neck tends to apply pressure around the airway which can partly restrict the movement of air. When the airway is obstructed, snoring, and in some cases OSA will occur.

Those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 25 are considered either overweight or obese and are at higher risk of developing a snoring condition or OSA. Also, men with a neck circumference that is greater than 17″ or women with a neck circumference of greater than 15″ are at higher risk. For every unit increase of BMI, you are 14% more likely to develop one of these two conditions. In other words, losing as little as 7 lbs can reduce your chances of developing either condition by 14%.  If you were to lose 14 lbs, or a reduction of two units, you are 28% less likely to snore.

Keep in mind that snoring and OSA are not always caused by being overweight, although this is the most common reason. Other factors such as enlarged tonsils or adenoids as well as physical obstructions in the airway can also be causes or contributing factors. If you were once of average weight and have gained weight and notice an increase in snoring or daytime tiredness, it’s quite possible that being overweight can be the cause. If you have any concerns, you should first speak with your doctor.

Losing Weight May Prevent Snoring

The American College of Physicians recently released new guidelines for the management of OSA which focuses on weight loss in conjunction with treatments such as CPAP and oral appliances. The recommendations also apply to those who snore but do not have OSA. These guidelines are quite practical as it’s well known that extra weight, particularly in the neck area, can cause snoring issues and OSA. It goes without saying that reducing the amount of fat around the airway can ultimately eliminate snoring.

When it comes to losing weight, there’s a lot of great information available online so there’s no need to go into detail. Here’s a short list of items that will put you on the right track to losing weight.

  • Exercise
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Reduce carbohydrates such as bread
  • Reduce calorie intake
  • Eat smaller portions
  • Drink lots of water
  • Avoid unhealthy snacks
  • Eat more fiber

A plan by itself is not going to cause you to lose weight. You will need to remain committed throughout your weight loss journey and beyond. Unfortunately, it’s quite common for people to lose a substantial amount of weight and then quickly regain it over the course of just a few months. The most common reason is that they regress back to old eating habits and stop exercising which will cause the weight to reappear.

How to Stop Snoring in the Meantime

Use a Snoring Mouthguard

This is your typical Mandibular Advancement Device, also known as a snoring mouthpiece

It can take several months to lose just a few pounds. If you are dealing with a snoring problem, you are probably interested in solving this issue now rather than several months from now. While weight loss should be considered the ultimate goal, there’s actually a small device that can be used to help prevent snoring in the meantime. Generically, it’s called a snoring mouthpiece. More specifically, it’s called a mandibular advancement device. They are highly effective, easy to use, and typically cost less than $100. Here’s a chart which lists all of the products that are available along with a product review of each.

If you decide to try a snoring mouthpiece, be sure to choose a reputable seller for safety reasons. Look for mouthpieces that are FDA cleared, BPA free and made from a medical grade material. Snoring mouthpieces can be used during weight loss. Eventually, the goal should be to completely eliminate snoring without having to use any such device.

Try Sleeping on your Side

Also consider sleeping on your side, which helps to keep the airway open and reduce snoring. By sleeping on your side, gravity helps to shift fat around the neck to the side and prevent it from pressing against the airway.

Remaining on your side throughout the night can be fairly difficult if you have a tendency to sleep on your back or stomach. One way of preventing rollover is to purchase a pillow which uses a stopper to prevent you from rolling over on your back. Since these pillows can be fairly expensive, a less expensive alternative is to wear a tee shirt to bed and fasten a tennis ball to the back using a rubber band. As you roll over in your sleep, the ball will cause discomfort and help to keep you on your side.

Skip the Nightcap 

Alcohol is a sedative that contributes to snoring and should be avoided.

Did you know that drinking alcohol prior to bed can further agitate snoring? As we sleep, the muscles in our airway relax and the airway becomes restricted. Because alcohol is a sedative, your muscles can become extremely relaxed and compound the problem of snoring. If your partner notices an increase in the intensity of your snoring after you consume alcohol, you may want to consider skipping the nightcap.

Share This Post:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

How Carrying Extra Weight Contributes to Snoring Snoring is an issue that affects over 90 million Americans. Of the 90 million that snore, about a quarter have mild to moderate sleep apnea. These numbers are similar in most other developed countries. What’s the cause of this epidemic? Why are so many of us snoring? Why […] Read More

Without insurance or limited insurance with high copays, the cost of a new CPAP machine can be so prohibitive that some people will buy used ones. However, the problem with this solution is navigating through all the different websites and trying to find a CPAP which is safe and works right. There are companies which offer discounts on CPAP models which are older and not used, but there can be problems with this because parts and supplies may no longer be manufactured for the machines. If this important life-saving machine has limited, or no value in either case, there is no deal at all.

If a person who is looking for a used CPAP, they will need to know what to look for when buying one. To do this, the buyer will need to know if the place offering CPAP machines is reliable. Also, the person will have to know the cost of used versus new machines, so the buyer can gauge the value of the machine that they’re interested in. Also, it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of buying a used CPAP.

What to look for when shopping for a used CPAP?

There are several reasons why a person would shop around for a used CPAP. If a person is renting a CPAP machine from a medical supply company, there are usually out of pocket expenses involved. These lesser charges from renting can add up over time. Therefore, a used CPAP can be an alternative. Additionally, having a used machine as a backup CPAP is something people feel comfortable having in case something happens to the main CPAP. This can be a wise decision if a person suffers from serious sleep apnea.

Some of the things that you need to know when shopping for a used CPAP

Bacteria breeding grounds

The mask isn’t the only part which is dirty from another person’s usage. The whole CPAP machine has air going through it so that the machine will have picked up bacteria and viruses. This is why a used machine should only be bought from a reliable company. These companies will have tested and cleaned the machines thoroughly before reselling them.

Filters

Any used machine which is purchased should come with new bacterial/viral filters. These filters are for both the intake port and the outtake port. The intake filter is what filters the air which comes into the machine. The second filter is to back up the first filter so that if something has gotten past the first filter, the second filter will catch it on the way out of the machine and remove it. So, if these old filters are used and still in place, then the person who’s purchasing the machine will be breathing in the last owner’s germs which can be a serious health risk.

The Best Place to Find Used CPAP Machines

Trusted Websites

The best places to buy reliable CPAP machines are from online warehouses and stores. These places usually buy machines in bulk so that the savings can be passed onto the buyer. The online store used should have a guarantee with the machine and a checklist of what they inspected on the machine. Also, importantly as an option, some companies that sell new CPAP machines will offer a discount on a new CPAP machine if the person purchasing it trades in the old one.  In addition, Home Healthcare stores usually carry CPAP machines as well as other stores within insurance carrier networks. These stores will carry used CPAP machines that meet the sterilization qualifications.

Don’t Buy from Craigslist or use a Family Members’

A few places where a CPAP shouldn’t be purchased are on Craigslist, eBay and Amazon. Don’t buy one at a garage sale either. These machines have no guarantee that they have been properly cleaned or sterilized. Additionally, if the machine isn’t properly sterilized, then there is a possibility of the machine being contaminated with viral or bacterial respiratory infections. These infections could include: pneumonia, bronchitis or tuberculosis. Also, if the person who originally owned the machine had an infestation of cockroaches or bedbugs in the home, those pests could have contaminated the equipment.

Borrowing a friend or relative’s CPAP machine isn’t a good idea either- as appealing as it may be. It may have only been used a few times and the person is healthy and a relative. This is the wrong kind of thinking for many reasons. Borrowing a machine, whether a relative or not, can be taking a chance of contracting the risk of infection. Also, the therapy is set up for that person not the person borrowing it. This could be detrimental to the health of the borrower.

Using CPAP equipment which is sterilized and up to date and prescribed only for the person on the prescription is the safest way to go.

Cost savings of used vs new

When a person buys a new CPAP machine, the initial cost is more than just the machine. The purchase also includes the humidifier, face or nasal masks, heater hoses, and filters. With all of this, a new CPAP machine and setup usually costs between $1,500 and $3,500 without insurance.

In addition, the cost of a CPAP depends upon what the model and make of the machine is, as well as its features. A machine purchased through insurance outright and through an in-network DME provider could also offer discounts which would lower the cost.With insurance, the CPAP tubing, masks and other accessories may be covered too.

Pricing for used CPAP machines may range from $291 to $700 depending on who is selling them. Most of these, at this price, don’t come with guarantees or warranties. Reputable companies, however, will sell used CPAP machines with a guarantee and still at a price lower than a new one. They will always ask for a prescription.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a used CPAP?

There are advantages and disadvantages to buying a used CPAP machine. Listed below are some of each:

Advantages

If a person needs to buy a machine and doesn’t have insurance, then buying a used CPAP machine is less expensive. If the person is a traveler, then buying a used CPAP machine for traveling would make sense. Since it could be stolen or lost by an airline, while away from home, it makes perfect sense for a person who travels frequently to have two. Also, when buying a used CPAP online, there may be a larger variety of choices, prices, and options for specific needs that insurance won’t cover. In addition, customer reviews can be handy when deciding on what type to buy and what another person thought of the products bought from a company.

Disadvantages

There are also disadvantages to buying a used machine online. If the person has bought the machine from a company which is not reputable, unsanitary products may be shipped. The product may not have been tested and may not work properly. Another problem is that if the machine is an older model, there may not be replacement parts available it if breaks down. Replacement filters, which are very important to the usage of the machine, may no longer be made or available for purchase.

In addition, the original warranty may be voided and there may not be a guarantee of functionality. It’s possible that the CPAP could run fine when it’s purchased and then break down a week later. Additionally, if the person doesn’t have a prescription for the machine, then the pressure settings can’t be adjusted by a professional.

Reusable and disposable CPAP filters

There are two kinds of filters which can be used in a CPAP machine. One is reusable and one is disposable:

Reusable filters

These filters are made out of foam and can be reused. They need to be washed at least once a week as well as checked for wear and tear. Warm soapy water can be used, and they need to be rinsed well to remove all soap traces. Lay it flat to dry it, and then replace it back into the CPAP machine when it is dry. These filters are excellent for removing dirt, pet hair and pollen from the air in the room. They will require more maintenance than disposable filters.

Disposable filters

These filters are made from a material which is paper-like. It’s electrostatically charged which allows them to attract floating particles out of the air to keep them out of the CPAP machine. They need to be replaced when they become discolored or every 30 days. If the environment is a dusty one, they may need to be changed more often.

Deciding on whether to buy a used or a new CPAP is a personal and monetary choice. Also, if lack of money is a problem, then American Sleep Apnea Association’s CPCP Assistance Program may be of able to help with the cost. Be sure to research your used purchase ahead of time and even consult with a doctor on how to go about purchasing a used CPAP machine.

Share This Post:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Without insurance or limited insurance with high copays, the cost of a new CPAP machine can be so prohibitive that some people will buy used ones. However, the problem with this solution is navigating through all the different websites and trying to find a CPAP which is safe and works right. There are companies which […] Read More

ZenGuard by Zensleep retails for $99.00 USD with free US shipping

Today, there are more choices than ever when it comes to buying a snoring mouthpiece. In fact, there are currently well over thirty mouthpieces to choose from. The recent introduction of the ZenGuard by ZenSleep has made the decision of choosing a mouthguard even more complex, as it has added to the growing list of anti-snoring mouthpieces that are available.

Perhaps the best way to narrow down the number of choices is to first decide between a Tongue Stabilizing Device (TSD), also known as a Tongue Retaining Device (TRD) and Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). One device works by holding the jaw forward to open the airway while the other holds the tongue forward, having the same effect.

When deciding between the two, the primary consideration should be your ability to breathe freely from your nose. Those with unobstructed nasal passages may choose either a TSD or MAD. If nasal breathing is not an option, an MAD may be a better choice because they are typically designed with an air hole which permits mouth breathing. Those with chronic sinus issues should only consider an MAD with a breather hole.

So which one works better – The MAD or TSD? The answer to this question is that they are both effective and for those who are able to use either, it mostly comes down to the features that each offer.

Over the past 4 years, I’ve tested nearly every mouthpiece available and have wrote about my experience with each. To help make the decision easier for my readers, I have created a table summarizing the mouthpieces that I have reviewed as well as my recommendation based on factors such as comfort, ease of use, cost, and credibility.

What Do We Know about the ZenSleep, the Company Behind ZenGuard?

In the evolution of TSD’s, first there was the aveoTSD then along came the Good Morning Snore Solution followed by the Pacifier and now we have the ZenGuard by ZenSleep.

When reviewing a product, I always begin by examining the company who produces and sells the product. It’s unclear exactly when ZenSleep, the company behind ZenGuard, formed. Their Facebook page does state that the company was founded in December of 2014, however, I was unable to verify this information. The company lists a contact phone number of  (800) 278-0150 as well as hello@zensleep.com as the email address.

The identity and credentials of the person or persons associated with ZenSleep are unavailable on their website or through external sources online.

About the ZenGuard

The ZenGuard is one of several products offered by ZenSleep. The company also sells the ZenVents (Nose vents), ZenStrap (Chinstrap), ZenMask (Facemask), and ZenPlugs (EarPlugs)In addition, they offer an “all-in-one” kit which contains one of each mentioned item.

This device is considered a TSD because it attaches to the tip of the tongue and holds the tongue forward to prevent snoring.

Exactly How Does it Work?

When mentioning a TSD such as the ZenGuard, usually the first question that comes to mind is “How does it work?”

There is nothing revolutionary about the design of the ZenGuard. Similar TSD’s have been in existence for well over a decade now. TSD’s have been studied for years and according to this study recently published in the Journal of Dental Sleep Medicine,  TSD’s are just as effective when it comes to treating mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) as MAD’s are. OSA and snoring are often closely related as many who snore also have OSA.

In order to better understand exactly how the ZenGuard work, it’s important to first know exactly why we snore.

What Causes Snoring?

In most cases, the sound of snoring originates from within the airway. As we age, our airway becomes less toned and loose. This issue is often more pronounced in people who are overweight as excessive neck fat can apply pressure against the airway. While asleep, the tongue falls into the back of the throat, the jaw relaxes and falls back causing the muscles surrounding the airway relax and loosen up. Now imagine what the inside of an airway that is loose and relaxed may look like? It becomes narrow and often times partially collapsed. As air rushes past a collapsed loose airway, loose tissues vibrate and collide with each other. The colliding tissue creates the familiar sound of snoring.

How The ZenGuard Prevents Snoring

A relaxed airway can collapse and may obstruct breathing. The ZenGuard holds the tongue muscle forward to help clear the airway and prevent snoring.

Take a quick look at the anatomy of the human airway. It’s easy to see that the muscles surrounding the jaw and tongue connect to form a point in the Oropharynx area. This is the area that becomes narrow and is the site where the sound of snoring typically originates. Now, imagine if you were to pull and hold the tongue and the associated muscles around the airway forward. Doing so will tighten the tissue, open the airway and allow air to flow unobstructed. Unobstructed breathing = no snoring. TSD’s, such as the ZenGuard perform this task which in turn prevents snoring.

MAD’s, the TSD’s sister device, also performs the same task of pulling and holding this muscle group. These devices actually fit entirely inside of the mouth between the upper and lower teeth.

Description of the ZenGuard

The ZenGuard is a soft, silicone-like bulb device that you squeeze and place onto the end of your tongue.  At the front end, “wings” protrude from both the upper and lower sides. These wings rest on the outside of the upper and lower lips and prevent the tongue and device from falling back into the mouth. Without this feature, this TSD would be useless as it would not hold the tongue forward and tighten the airway.

The opposing end of the bulb is open and is the entry point in which the tongue is inserted. There is a “V” notch cut into the bottom of the device to accommodate for the Frenulum which is the piece of skin between the bottom of the tongue and the floor of the mouth. When inserting the ZenGuard onto the tongue, it’s important to face this notch down.

The ZenGuard closely resembles another product that I have reviewed called the aveoTSD. It was developed by New Zealand orthodontist and sleep medicine expert, Dr. Chris Robertson. The aveoTSD is however a prescription only device that is available through your dentist or physician.

What Type of Material is It Made From and Is It BPA Free?

One important consideration to examine is the type of material a mouthpiece is made from. It’s important to understand what type of material you are putting into your mouth each night.  Reputable manufacturers will construct their mouthguards from medical grade silicone, typically USP Class IV.

In addition to knowing the type of material, you should also know whether or not the device contains BPA, a synthetic compound that has been used in a variety of products from water bottles to can linings. While BPA’s are still being widely used today, the use of BPA’s remains controversial.

The following is posted on the product detail page on the companies website:

“Comfortable and easy to wear, this BPA free, soft medical grade silicone guard…”

How Much Does ZenGuard Cost?

When deciding on a snoring mouthpiece, an important consideration for many is the price. The ZenGuard sells for $99.00 USD with free US Shipping. It appear as if they only sell the ZenGuard in the United States.

In comparison to the other TSD’s that are available, the ZenGuard is competitively priced.

Is ZenGuard FDA Cleared?

TSD’s and MAD’s that are used for snoring are considered class II medical devices by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and technically speaking, require a prescription. Prior to bringing a product to market, the manufacturer must first file the appropriate paperwork with the FDA.  The FDA must “clear” a product prior to being authorized for sale.

On the FDA website, you can search their database to see if a product is registered with the FDA. A quick search did not reveal any results for the terms ZenSleep or ZenGuard.

Money Back Guarantee?

ZenSleep mentions a “100% Results Guaranteed”, however they stop short of stating that they offer any money back.

This guarantee seems somewhat ambiguous so I looked into their refund policy and found that they do offer a refund or exchange within 90 days of purchase.

However, their return policy states the following:

“To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging.”

While the company advertises guaranteed results, their return policy does not allow you to return the mouthpiece if it’s used. This leaves one wondering exactly how they back their guarantee if desirable results are not achieved.

My Experience Testing out the ZenGuard

When the ZenGuard arrived, it appeared exactly as picture on the website. The material seemed durable yet soft and flexible. Overall, I found the Zenguard to be a well made,  quality mouthpiece.

As with all other mouthpieces that I have tested, I tried the ZenGuard for a total of two weeks and documented the results each morning.

I’ll start by mentioning that if this if your first time using a TSD, you will likely notice that your tongue will be slightly sore in the morning and you may even drool while asleep. This is completely normal and should go away with time. I’ve been using both a TSD and MAD for several years now, so I no longer experience such issues when using an oral appliance.

During the testing period, I found the ZenGuard to be effective against my loudest snoring. It did in fact stop my snoring as advertised, but this comes as no surprise as I have found TSD’s to be effective in the past.

How Did The ZenGuard Compare to Other TSD’s?

How does the Zenguard Compare to other TSD’s? Over the years, I’ve tested three other TSD’s – aveoTSD, the Pacifier, and Good Morning Snore Solution. As for a comparison of these products to the ZenGuard, my observations are as follows:

ZenGuard vs. aveoTSD

The aveoTSD is a tongue stabilizing device that has been around for over a decade now. In fact, it’s believed that the aveoTSD was the first TSD to be brought to market. The aveoTSD is also a product that I have tested and had experienced satisfactory results. The ZenGuard is very similar to the aveoTSD but unlike the aveoTSD, ZenGuard can be purchased without a visiting a physician. The Zenguard can be purchased directly from the ZenSleep website without a prescription.

Aside from one being prescription based while the other isn’t, there are a still a few difference between the two. The aveoTSD was developed by a physician and has numerous scientific studies that cite this device. The Zenguard doesn’t appear to be developed by a physician and there’s no mention of it in any studies or publications. The ZenGuard does however sell for a fraction of the cost of the aveoTSD.

Read my full review of the aveoTSD here

ZenGuard vs. The Pacifier 

The Pacifier TSD was released in August 2015. While it’s priced significantly lower than any other mouthpiece, I found the design of the Pacifier to be inferior in comparison to the other available TSD’s. With the Pacifier, the flange is too small and flat. The lack of curvature made it difficult to keep in place throughout the night.

In comparison, I found the ZenGuard  flange to be better designed which helps to keep it in place. The long body of the ZenGuard and the wings prevented it from falling out while asleep.

Read my full review of the Pacifier here

ZenGuard vs. Good Morning Snore Solution GMSS

The Good Morning Snore Solution is another TSD which I discovered several years ago. Since then, it has become one of two snoring mouthpieces that I use on a nightly basis ( SleepTight being the other). When my sinuses are clear, I typically go with the GMSS, otherwise, I choose the SleepTight due to the fact that it has an air hole which allows for mouth breathing.

When comparing the ZenGuard to the GMSS, I found the fit of the GMSS to be better as it has a large flange that wraps around the front of the teeth, providing a more secure fit. The material used in the GMSS appears to be thinner and the overall design is a bit more compact. In addition, there are several other reasons why I prefer the GMSS over the ZenGuard.

First, the GMSS was created and is marketed by Canadian physician duo Dr. Leslie Dort and Dr. Nancy Markley who conducted scientific research on the GMSS, clinically proving its effectiveness.

They operate Mpowrx Health & Wellness which is a registered business dating back to 2007.  The company has been registered with the BBB since 2012 and has maintained an A+ rating since.

According to their website, their mouthpieces are made domestically in both the US and Canada and are cleared by regulatory agencies such as the FDA, ARTG, and EC. Being made domestic and cleared by regulatory agencies makes the GMSS less risky to use in comparison to a mouthpiece that has not.

The GMSS offers a 90 day satisfaction guarantee which is clearly stated on their return policy page.

“Our no-risk return policy means that you can order the device, test it out, and if you’re not fully satisfied, you can return the device for a full purchase price refund”

The GMSS sells for approximately the same price as the SnoreGuard but includes all of the mentioned benefits. In addition, GMSS is also sold worldwide.

Read my full review of the GMSS here

Product Recommendation

After testing a product, I always offer my recommendation based on what I find.

The ZenGuard passed the functionality test as it works as advertised. If you are interested in a TSD that is similar in style to the aveoTSD, the ZenGuard may be a good choice.

If you have decided on a TSD and are trying to choose one, I personally would recommend the GMSS over the ZenGuard due to the reasons mentioned above.

Pros:

  • Made from quality material
  • Works as advertised
  • Competitively priced at $99
  • Offered with free shipping
  • BPA-free soft medical grade silicone

Cons:

  • No information on the company or credentials
  • Not cleared by FDA or other regulatory agencies
  • Return policy – “100% results guaranteed” unclear

 

Share This Post:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Today, there are more choices than ever when it comes to buying a snoring mouthpiece. In fact, there are currently well over thirty mouthpieces to choose from. The recent introduction of the ZenGuard by ZenSleep has made the decision of choosing a mouthguard even more complex, as it has added to the growing list of anti-snoring mouthpieces that are available. Perhaps the […] Read More

The Debate Between the Prescribed SomnoDent and Non-Prescription Mouthpieces

The SomnoDent is a popular oral appliance that typically costs around $2,500

Oral appliances or dental appliances have been in existence for over 80 years now, although they have not been widely used to treat snoring and sleep apnea until the 1980’s when they were brought to light after several studies concluded that they were effective at treating both snoring and sleep apnea. Since then, dentists worldwide have been creating custom fitted mouthpieces for their patients as an alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment. In comparison to the CPAP, oral appliances are more discrete, less cumbersome, and require no electricity to operate. Unlike a CPAP machine, the oral appliance can easily slide into ones pocket which makes transporting simple. 

You may be more familiar with the term “Snoring Mouthpiece” which has been commonly used in television and internet advertising to describe this product while physicians refer to such devices as oral appliances. This term has become so popular over the past 20 years that the average consumer is 3 times more likely to recognize it by this slang term rather than it’s proper name.  No matter what you call it, the oral appliances have become a popular choice when it comes to the treatment of snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea and for many is often a suitable alternative to the CPAP which has been considered the gold standard for ages.

There are several options available for the treatment of Snoring and or Sleep Apnea, so why should you choose to go with an oral appliance? While the CPAP machine is very effective, it must travel with you every day, most likely for the remainder of your life. While CPAP machines have become more compact and quieter in recent years, there are still hoses and masks along with the unit which make it difficult to transport and require a source of power. Some models are noisy and some find that they dry out the airway. CPAP machines will also require periodic cleaning and service.

The oral appliances are a very effective treatment option that has years of scientific evidence proving their effectiveness treating snoring and sleep apnea. The fitting only takes a few minutes, although you may have to return to your dentist a few times to fine tune your appliance.

With two different types available, both prescription and online ordered, there seems to be some confusion when it comes to differentiating the two.

Here are 5 reasons why you may choose a prescribed mouthpiece to treat your snoring or sleep apnea problem.

Why Choose a Professionally Fitted Mouthpiece Such As The SomnoDent?

Prescribed Devices Fit Better and Are More Comfortable

Everyone’s mouth structure is different. Some people’s mouths are wide, some are narrow. The surface of each and every tooth is unique.  Some have missing teeth while others have dental work such as crowns or bridges or even dentures. In other words, no two mouths are identical. When fitting an oral appliance, it’s very important that the device remains closed against the surface of each tooth, not only to increase the likelihood of the device being effective but also to provide the highest level of comfort possible.  A properly fitted oral appliance such as the SomnoDent is very thin, yet durable and is more likely to be tolerated than one that has not been fitted properly . A poorly fitted mouthpiece will cause discomfort and is likely to be discontinued by the patient after only a few nights of use.

Your dentist can help to evaluate your risk for sleep apnea or simple snoring, choose a mouthpiece that is best suited for your needs, and then customize it for a perfect fit.

Professionally Fitted Oral Appliances Are Adjustable

While having a professional create a custom mouthpiece that fits the contour of your mouth is important, having the ability to adjust your mouthpiece is also something to consider. Why does an oral appliance need to be adjusted?

To answer this question,  it’s important to first understand that oral appliances work by holding the jaw forward which in turn, opens a restricted airway. A restricted airway causes OSA and is the area in which snoring typically originates from. An oral appliance positions the jaw forward while you sleep and prevents the airway from collapsing. For this reason, oral appliances are often referred to as a “Mandibular (Jaw) Advancement Device” or MAD.

In order to prevent snoring or to treat OSA, the lower tray must be adjusted so that the jaw is held forward slightly. The degree to which the tray is set forward is somewhat determined by trial and error. If the jaw is not advanced enough, the appliance will be ineffective and you will continue to snore or have apnea events. Too much advancement may cause discomfort and put excessive force on the teeth.  A professional can listen to your feedback and make adjustments to increase or decrease the advancement of your device and make other adjustments to allow it to fit more comfortably and work effectively.

Better Materials & Better Construction Will Last Longer

Pro fitted mouthpiece are usually made from quality materials such as EVA.

Professionally fitted appliances will last for several years when properly cared for. Depending upon several factors such as whether or not you grind your teeth at night (Bruxism) and how you handle your appliance, you can expect for it to last up to five years or more. It’s important to note that there are several other factors which will determine how long a mouthpiece will last.

The type of material that the mouthpiece is constructed from also makes a difference when it comes to longevity.  Materials that are commonly used in oral appliances include Hard Acrylics, Thermal Acrylics, Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate, Laminates, Biocompatible Polymer and Cobalt-Chromium Alloys. Each material has its own unique advantages and disadvantages which should be considered when making a selection.

Most professionally fitted appliances are well engineered and made from quality materials and are built within a lab using strict quality controls. By choosing the right appliance for your individual needs, you can count on several years of use before having to consider a replacement.

Your Insurance May Cover Some of the Cost

Quality mouthpieces fitted by an industry professional can be quite expensive for most people. If you have good insurance coverage, you can save a significant amount of money on your mouthpiece. Most insurance companies, both private and government, provide some type of coverage to cover some of the cost of a Mandibular Advancement Device. Depending on your insurance provider, you may still have to pay up to $1k or more out of pocket.

Nearly all insurance companies will cover expenses that are medically necessary such as when a patient has Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Oral appliances used exclusively for simple snoring, or benign snoring are typically not covered by insurance companies. However, keep in mind that the presence of snoring and OSA are often closely related.

If you snore but have not been screened for OSA, it’s quite possible that an underlying sleep related breathing disorder such as sleep apnea is present. In a recent analysis released by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), it’s estimated that 29.4 million men and women have OSA, and many cases are currently undiagnosed. This represents 12% of the overall population in the US. The analysis estimates the economic burden to be approximately $149.6 billion annually. This figure includes the cost of motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, lost productivity, and Comorbid diseases.

If you suspect that your snoring may be related to sleep apnea, you should contact your dentist for an evaluation. They can determine your likelihood of having OSA using a questionnaires such as the STOP BANG or the Berlin questionnaire. If presence of sleep apnea is found, you may then qualify for an oral appliance which will likely be covered by your insurance. This will not only treat the sound of snoring but will also treat OSA which is a serious medical condition that causes several health issues and may even be fatal.

Professional Oversight

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of choosing a prescribed oral device is that a medical professional is overseeing everything from the fitting to adjustments and any maintenance that arises along the way.

After all, oral appliances are medical devices and your dentist can ensure that it’s being used properly. Improperly fitted and adjusted oral devices can cause tooth misalignment and shifting over time. Being professionally managed, any such problems can be detected and prevented before they cause any serious issues.

Your doctor can make any necessary adjustments after the initial fitting to ensure that your appliance is functioning properly and is as comfortable as possible. In some instances, repairs or additional adjustments may be necessary. Those with sleep apnea will need a physician to ensure that the appliance is effective at keeping the airway clear of obstruction.

When it comes to ensuring your safety, you want to choose a professional who has years of experience and specializes in treating snoring and sleep apnea.

Why Choose A Non-Prescription Mouthpiece Over a Prescribed one?

It’s pretty clear that professionally fitted prescription mouthpieces are an excellent choice, so why would you even consider going with a non-prescription type?

Tremendous Cost Savings For Those Without Health Insurance

There are currently over 320 million people residing in the United States and even with the recent health care reform act, 30 million Americans still do not have health insurance. That means that 10% of the population or 1 in 10 people do not carry insurance. The number of people without dental coverage is even higher. Some estimate that over 25% of the population carries no dental insurance.

The cost of a product such as the SomnoDent will vary from one dentist to another. However, without insurance, you should budget for over $2,500. This includes the cost of the actual device, the initial fitting, and any follow up visits to make adjustments. This is a very steep price to pay if you are simply looking for a solution to a snoring problem.

A decent over the counter, non-prescription device can be purchased for around $80 and when used as directed, can be just as effective at treating snoring as pro-fitted products such as the SomnoDent. These products have come a long way since they were originally introduced in the mid 1990’s. While no product is going to fit as well as a professionally fitted oral appliance, some of the better ones (usually more expensive) come in a close second.

Even With Insurance, Providers Don’t Cover Mouthpiece For “Snoring” Alone

One of the biggest challenges that you will face when asking your insurance to pay for your professionally fitted mouthpiece such as the SomnoDent is whether or not it’s a medical necessity.

If your dentist determines that your snoring is actually a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea then most insurance providers will cover some of the cost. If your snoring is not an indication of an underlying issue and you just want a mouthpiece because you are disturbing your bed partner,  it is very unlikely that your insurance will cover this cost. Many people assume that their insurance will cover them regardless, however, this simply not true.

Insurance Often Only Covers Half (or Less) of The Cost Of  A Pro-Fitted Device

Assuming that your insurance is willing to chip in and help pay the cost of your SomnoDent, you may be surprised to find out that only a portion of the cost is covered, often leaving you with a bill of well over $1,000. The cost of the SomnoDent is typically around $2,500 and many insurance providers are only willing to pay half the cost or in some cases even less.

You Can Try It Before You Buy It

If you are considering a mouthpiece to treat your snoring but do not want to pay the full cost of  pro-fitted mouthpiece without knowing if it will work for you, an OTC type product may be a great place to start.

Essentially, both products work in the exact same manner by holding your jaw forward to clear the airway. Consider trying the less expensive OTC product first and then invest in a pro fitted product once you confirm that it’s effective and fits comfortably. The last thing that you want to do is drop $2,500 on a mouthpiece, only to find out that it’s not even effective in your case.

Here’s a bonus – many companies who sell these non-script type mouthpieces will allow you to test them out during a 30-day trial for as little as $10. If you find that it doesn’t work, simply send it back and you are only out $10. You just may find it to be effective and decide to stick with the self fitted type and save your money.

The Winner Is…

So which one is a better choice? As with most things in life, when it comes to making a decision, it often comes down to money. Mouthpieces that can be purchased online are an affordable choice for those with a snoring problem that is not related to sleep apnea. Some of the newer models such as the “SleepTight” are closer fitting and more comfortable than older mouthpieces that were sold 10 or even 20 years ago.

If you have extra money to spend and already know that a mouthpiece will help with your snoring, a pro-fitted product such as the SomnoDent is going to be a great option.

Please keep in mind, if you have any questions or concerns related to snoring or sleep apnea, it’s important to seek assistance from a qualified medical professional who can perform an evaluation and can discuss several treatment options to suite your individual needs and even help you choose which device may be right for you.

 

Share This Post:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

The Debate Between the Prescribed SomnoDent and Non-Prescription Mouthpieces Oral appliances or dental appliances have been in existence for over 80 years now, although they have not been widely used to treat snoring and sleep apnea until the 1980’s when they were brought to light after several studies concluded that they were effective at treating both […] Read More

Basic Info About The SnoreTek Chinstrap & Mouthpiece Combo

In the United States alone, it’s estimated that nearly 90 million people have a snoring problem. Considering there are approximately 325 million people residing in the US, snorers make up a significant portion of the overall population.

While snoring is often considered just a bedroom nuisance, some snorers have a more serious condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in which breathing can stop several hundred times throughout the night while asleep. It’s important to understand that OSA is a condition that should be diagnosed and treated by a qualified physician. In some cases, a mouthpiece such as the SnoreTek along with a chinstrap can help with not only snoring but also mild to moderate OSA in adults.

About The Company Behind the SoreTek Combo Pack

The SnoreTek’s chinstrap and mouthpiece combo holds the jaw forward and closed, allowing air to flow freely into and out of the mouth and nose and through the airway

The inventor of the SnoreTek treatment product line is a dentist and member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and has spent the last 15 years focusing on the treatment of sleep breathing disorders.

The inventor himself suffered from snoring and endured multiple surgeries in an effort to alleviate his problem. Unfortunately, all surgical and non-surgical attempts failed until he later discovered the Mandibular Advancement Device which has since provided relief for him and his wife.

Excited about his discovery, he then set out to find a mouthpiece with the qualities of comfort and effectiveness that he desired at price that nearly anyone could afford. This quest led him to Meditas Ltd, a European Mouthguard company who had developed a simple mouthpiece for snoring and sleep apnea treatment. SnoreTek is now the exclusive online distributor for the SnoreTek Mouthpiece in the US.

The SnoreTek Mouthpiece was registered with the FDA in May 2014 as a class II medical device before being sold online as an affordable DIY Mandibular Advancement Device to assist with snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Ongoing research has shown the effectiveness of using a chin strap in combination with the mouthpiece. The SnoreTek chinstrap is another product that is sold by the same company. It’s basically a neoprene chinstrap that wraps around the back of the head and stretches around the chin. While the SnoreTek serves several functions including preventing CPAP stomach bloating (Aerophagia), when used with the SnoreTek mouthpiece its primary purpose is to help hold the jaw forward and closed to prevent the mouthpiece from falling out. The problem with most snoring mouthpiece is that they often fall out while asleep, which of course will render it useless. This happens because the jaw drops back in many situations despite having the mouthpiece. The SnoreTek chinstrap keeps the jaw closed and forward which prevents this from happening.

Recognizing the issue of  the jaw dropping back and mouthpieces falling out, he decided to pair the SnoreTek Mouthpiece with the SnoreTek Chinstrap to create the perfect marriage of two unique products to combat one issue which of course is snoring (OSA in some cases). While both products can be effective when used individually, the manufacturer recommends using a combination of both the chinstrap and mouthpiece for the best results.

The SnoreTek Mouthpiece

The SnoreTek Mouthpiece is a soft colorless thermoplastic one-piece mouthguard that measures 2 3/8″ at its widest point and 1 7/8″ deep with a thickness of 1″. During the fitting process, the plastic material becomes pliable and compresses, making the mouthpiece more compact.

While it resembles a sports mouthguard, unlike a sports guard, the SnoreTek features both and upper and lower trays. These trays have raised walls in which encompass both the upper and lower teeth. Sports mouthguards typically have only one tray and are often mistaken for snoring mouthpieces. They however do not hold the jaw forward and are ineffective at preventing snoring or apnea.

At the front of the mouthpiece, there is a large breather hole with a single support post in the middle to prevent collapse when biting down on the mouthpiece. This large breather hole is an important consideration for those who have a tendency to breathe through their mouth while asleep. It allows air to pass freely and allows for smooth breathing. The mouthpiece comes with a plug that’s inserted into the breather holes to help retain its shape during the fitting process.

The SnoreTek mouthpiece is made from a BPA free Ethylene Vinyl Acetate material that is latex free and is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.  When a Mouthpiece is FDA cleared, BPA free and Latex free, this typically indicates that it’s a trustworthy product and generally safe when used as directed.
Visit Website

How Does The SnoreTek Mouthpiece Work?

While asleep, the airway relaxes and can become restricted.

As mentioned, the SnoreTek is a medical device and is considered a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). What exactly is a MAD? As the name implies, “mandibular” references the mandible or jaw, while “advancement” means to move forward. The SnoreTek mouthpiece is a device that holds the jaw forward to prevent snoring. Numerous studies have scientifically proven MAD’s to assist with snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

In order to understand exactly how an MAD such as the SnoreTek works, it’s vital to first understand exactly why we snore. In most cases, snoring is caused by the vibration of collapsed airway tissues as air rushes in and out of the lungs while we are asleep. Airway tissues often become loose as we age. This problem can be magnified if the snorer is overweight as extra fat tends to become stored around the neck and places pressure against the airway.

The MAD is custom fitted inside of the mouth, much like a sports mouthguard. The user heats the entire device in hot water for about 2 minutes prior to biting down to take an impression. While taking an impression, the lower teeth are moved forward and held. Once cooled, the mouthpiece will retain its shape and will hold the jaw slightly forward when placed inside of the mouth before going to bed.

How does holding the jaw forward prevent snoring? The concept is actually quite simple. With the jaw in the forward position, loose airway tissues become tight and are unable to collide with each other. A tight airway allows air to flow unobstructed, ultimately putting an end to snoring and in some cases mild to moderate OSA. Take a look at the illustration to the right to better understand how this works.

In addition to the mouthpiece, the company also includes a SnoreTek chinstrap that can be used along with the mouthpiece for increased effectiveness. The chinstrap serves two purposes – it helps to prevent the mouthpiece from falling out while keeping the jaw forward and mouth closed.

Simply stated, the SnoreTek mouthpiece holds the jaw forward to tighten the airway which prevents snoring and in some instances of OSA while the chinstrap assists by holding the jaw in place.

The SnoreTek Chinstrap

The SnoreTek Chinstrap is a multi-functional chinstrap that is made from a soft neoprene material. Its edges are double stitched, which adds to the durability of the product. It has two holes cut out to allow the ears to pass through. The chinstrap has Velcro sewn into each end which allows you to fasten the ends together to form a loop. This Velcro fastening system allows for adjustment to nearly any size head.

As for uses, the Snoretek can assist with snoring, CPAP stomach bloating (Aerophagia), dry mouth, and also mouthpiece retention. When used with the mouthpiece in a combo pack, it’s primary function is of course to prevent the mouthpiece from falling out while keeping the jaw closed and forward.

How the SnoreTek Chin Strap Works

The elastic nature of the Snoretek is key to its function. It fits around the head and holds the jaw forward and mouth closed. Similar to a snoring mouthpiece, the forward action of the jaw helps to clear the airway and prevent airway collapse. While the SnoreTek chin strap can work by itself as a snoring solution, it may work best when paired with a mouthpiece such as the SnoreTek. Note: When the Chin Strap is used alone you must be able to breathe freely through your nose. However, when used in combination with the mouthpiece, you are easily able to breathe through your mouth if needed, because of the front breather hole.

Will They Help My Snoring?

The idea of an MAD/Chinstrap combo may interest you but you may be left wondering if the SnoreTek Mouthpiece will help with your snoring. The MAD has been extensively studied  and nearly all studies have concluded that such devices are effective when it comes to treating snoring and OSA. The rate of effectiveness seems to vary from one study to another but generally speaking, they seem to be effective in 80%-85% of patients studied.

Snoring chinstraps, such as the SnoreTek have also been studied but not as extensively as snoring mouthpieces. The available research suggests that snoring chinstraps can also be very effective.

In my opinion, combining two products together that are proven to be effective sounds like it may be a good idea.

Guarantee

The seller of the SnoreTek combo offers a 90-day return warranty for the product purchased which can be utilized in the event that you do not see results from their product. This guarantee is an excellent selling point for those who are concerned whether or not this will help with their snoring.

Can I Use It for Mild to Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Are you able to use the SnoreTek combo to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea? According to the manufacturer, the SnoreTek mouthpiece is “an intraoral mandibular advancement device intended to be used for the treatment of snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea in adults.” It’s important to note that sleep apnea should only be treated under the supervision of your physician.

How Much Does The Combo Pack Cost?

Currently, the SnoreTek chinstrap combo pack sells for for $79.90 which includes shipping and handling. It appears as if the company currently only ships to US residents using 2-7 day USPS First Class shipping.

In comparison to similar style mouthpieces, this mouthpiece is average in price yet includes a bonus chinstrap which most manufacturers do not include. Considering that you receive both a mouthpiece and a chinstrap, it’s a great value.

My Trial Using The SnoreTek Mouthpiece and Chinstrap Together

After discovering DIY Mandibular Advancement Devices several years ago, I have tested and completed several reviews on various snoring prevention mouthpieces which can be seen here.  As a chronic snorer, I’m always in search of new products and enjoy testing them and sharing my experience on this blog. The combo pack is a product that I recently had the opportunity to take for a test drive. Over the course of two weeks, I tested this combo pack against my heaviest snoring.

Upon arrival, the mouthpiece was contained within a clear clam-shell package. The package also contained a nice vented anti-microbial storage case. In addition, the package also came with one SnoreTek chinstrap. My initial thoughts were that both the mouthpiece and chinstrap were of good quality and appeared to be durable.

Visit Website

The Fitting Process

Before getting started, I created a custom impression of my teeth using these instructions:

  • Ensure that the white plug is fully inserted into the opening at the front.
  • Boil a pot of water and allow to cool for one minute.
  • Completely immerse the mouthpiece for  a total of two minutes. A spoon will help to hold the mouthpiece under water as it has a tendency to float.
  • Carefully remove the mouthpiece using a pair of tongs. Ensure that the mouthpiece is not too hot before moving onto the next step.
  • Insert the centered mouthpiece with the “V’ notch facing up and bite down. While biting down, push your lower teeth outward. When properly completed, the white airway plug will rise up.
  • Once in position, suck in and use your fingers to press the mouthpiece against the outside of your teeth and use your tongue to press the mouthpiece against the inside of your teeth.
  • Keep the mouthpiece in for about a minute and then submerge in cold water to finalize it.
  • Check for fit. If you were unable to achieve a good fit, you can try to refit up to 4-5 more times.

I’m quite familiar with fitting boil and bite mouthpieces so this one was very simple and straight forward. Within 5 minutes, I had a nice close fit and my mouthpiece was ready to put to the test.

Putting It to the Test

Before going to bed I inserted the mouthpiece inside of my mouth and then placed the chinstrap around my jaw and over my head. Once everything was in place, it was clear that this mouthpiece was not going anywhere. One of the biggest complaints when it comes to snoring mouthpieces is the fact that some designs have a tendency to fall out while asleep. When the morning comes around, the mouthpiece ends up in your bed. Combining the mouthpiece and chinstrap seemed to be a clever idea.

With my wife close by monitoring my snoring, I quickly fell asleep. In the morning I woke up with mouthpiece and chinstrap intact. My wife reported that the SnoreTek had completely eliminated the sound of my snoring, which of course was great news!

The mouthpiece itself was comfortable and fairly compact. It didn’t cause any irritation although I did experience some drooling which sometimes occurs while using this style of snoring mouthpiece. The drooling typically only lasts for a couple of days.

I was pleased with the results of this mouthpiece and chinstrap combo but wanted to test it for a longer period of time to ensure that it would deliver consistent results. Over the next two weeks, I continued to use the two together and experienced great results night after night. The snoring was gone so the SnoreTek received my wife’s seal of approval.

Concluding Thoughts and Recommendation

Overall, this combo exceeded my expectations and prove itself as a mouthpiece worthy of consideration for purchase. The combination of using a mouthpiece and chinstrap together is something that I have never considered in the past but would now highly recommend, especially if you have experienced issues with your mouthpiece falling out in the middle of the night. The SnoreTek chinstrap did an excellent job of securing the mouthpiece while helping to hold my jaw forward.

The manufacturer claims that their product could last up to two years, which is a plus. They also offer a 90-day money back guarantee which is also good to know.

I was impressed by the size of the breather hole which allowed ample air through. This is an important consideration if you have a tendency to breathe through your mouth while you sleep or have problems breathing thru your nose.

Being BPA free as well as FDA cleared are features that I always look for in a snoring mouthpiece. Keep in mind, a snoring mouthpiece will be inside of your mouth for several hours each and every night. You want to ensure that you are using a product that is safe.

The SnoreTek Mouthpiece is hands down effective when used with the provided SnoreTek chinstrap.

For $79.90 including shipping, it’s an excellent value and definitely worth purchasing. Needless to say, I would highly recommend this product.

Visit Website

Pros

  • US Dentist approved & Made in the UK
  • Unique combination comes with both mouthpiece and a chinstrap
  • FDA Cleared, BPA Free & Latex Free
  • 90 Day money back guarantee
  • Large front breather hole
  • Simple 1 piece design is easy to fit
  • Lasts up to 2 years

Cons

  • Can only be adjusted 4-5 times before material becomes compromised
  • Only available in clear

 

Share This Post:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Basic Info About The SnoreTek Chinstrap & Mouthpiece Combo In the United States alone, it’s estimated that nearly 90 million people have a snoring problem. Considering there are approximately 325 million people residing in the US, snorers make up a significant portion of the overall population. While snoring is often considered just a bedroom nuisance, some […] Read More

Pregnancy Snoring

For many pregnant women, carrying extra baby weight, feeling nauseous, and being uncomfortable in general for 9 months aren’t the only nuisances they experience.  Nearly 30% of pregnant woman also start to snore during their pregnancy.  There are several reasons why snoring occurs in pregnant women, weight gain being the primary culprit.  When women start to gain extra weight, it is often stored in the throat and neck areas.  The extra weight can block the flow of oxygen in the airway which ultimately is the causes snoring.  Another contributing factor is the increased blood volume that is being produced during pregnancy.  Extra blood is needed for the growing fetus and so the blood vessels are expanding in order to transport the extra blood throughout the body and into the womb.  These expanded blood vessels cause mucous membranes to also expand, resulting in extra mucous production.  Excess mucous causes congestion which then ultimately can prevent the airway from receiving a straight and steady flow of oxygen.  Snoring then occurs when the airway is obstructed by the mucous.

Risks of Snoring during Pregnancy

Pregnant snoring isn’t something to be taken lightly.  In fact, there are some serious risks associated with snoring during your pregnancy.

High Blood Pressure and Preeclampsia

Snoring increases your risk to develop high blood pressure.  If your blood pressure remains high during pregnancy, then you are more at risk to develop obstructive sleep apnea.  Having OSA during pregnancy does not mean life or death, but should be taken seriously and brought to the attention of your doctor if you think you are showing signs of OSA.  High blood pressure typically develops in the third trimester and impacts nearly 1/3 of pregnant women.

Experiencing high blood pressure during pregnancy is commonly associated with having preeclampsia – a condition that a pregnant woman can develop when she has never had high blood pressure prior to the pregnancy.  Pregnant women with preeclampsia usually have kidney problems develop, maintain a high level of protein in their urine, and often have swelling in their extremities.

Higher Risk of Having a C-section

Women who snore during pregnancy can be at a higher risk of having a C-section during birth.  Dr. Louise O’Brien from the University of Michigan Health System has studied snoring and its impact on pregnancy and stated that,

“…chronic snoring is associated with both smaller babies and C-sections…. we have a window of opportunity to screen pregnant women for breathing problems during sleep that may put them at risk of poor delivery outcomes.”

Ultimately, stopping the snoring before it begins can not only reduce the number of small babies being born, but can also cut back on emergency C-sections and help to cut healthcare expenses as well.

Gestational Diabetes

Pregnancy snoring in general can be a sign that you have developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy.  Gestational diabetes is a specific type of diabetes found only in pregnant women.  It’s caused by your body resisting the insulin being produced in your body due to other changes happening during pregnancy.  Your doctor should be checking your blood work throughout your pregnancy to monitor for GD but you can always ask your doctor if you think snoring may be an indicator that GD has developed.

Birthing Smaller Babies

Pregnant snoring may also be the cause of birthing a small baby that weighs less than average. When you snore, the muscles in your throat relax and the tongue falls back and blocks your airway, which prevents the normal flow of oxygen.  If your pregnant snoring is actual obstructive sleep apnea, then you may be limiting the amount of oxygen you and your baby are receiving.  Both you and your baby need plenty of oxygen in order for your baby to develop properly.  Lack of oxygen can cause numerous medical conditions, and birthing newborns that are underweight may very well be a side effect of snoring.

The Joy


Those are some pretty serious risks above that can impact you and your baby if you snore during pregnancy.  There is a simple solution to prevent this from occurring at all – ask your physician about the Joy pregnancy snoring mouthguard.  The Joy mouthpiece is a great way to minimize your snoring during pregnancy and prevent many of those risks from occurring.  The Joy even has some additional uses that can help during labor and delivery.  Always consult with your doctor before purchasing any devices related to snoring, especially during pregnancy.

What it Does

The Joy serves two key purposes: to prevent pregnancy snoring and to shorten your delivery time.  The Joy is a custom-fitted boil and bite mouthpiece that can be molded in the privacy of your own home.  Once fitted, it can be used at night to keep your jaw and tongue forward so that your airway remains open throughout the night and prevents you from snoring.  It can also be used in addition or separately if you prefer to shorter your labor delivery time.  There are two separate sets of fitting instructions for both uses which we’ll get into in just a minute.

 

How to fit it

What you need for the fitting:

  • saucepan filled with water
  • cup/bowl
  • spoon
  • timer
  • mirror

Step 1.  Gather the supplies for the fitting listed above.

Step 2.  Place 8-10 ounces of water in your saucepan and bring to boil.

Step 3. Take the mouthpiece and white fitting handle out of the poly bag.  Discard the poly bag.  Place the white fitting handle into the front of the pink mouthpiece and ensure that it is flush with the airway opening on the inside.

Step 4. Turn off the burner and remove the pan from the stove top.  Pour the boiling water into a cup/bowl and allow to cool for 60 seconds.  (Do not microwave the water – it must be boiled on the stove top.)

Step 5.  Place the Joy mouthpiece in the cup/bowl for exactly 2 minutes – use your timer.  You can use the white fitting handle to ensure that the mouthpiece remains underwater, or you can use a spoon to hold it down.

Step 6.  When the 2 minutes are up, remove the Joy from the water, and touch it to make sure it’s not too hot.  Then place it in your mouth – make sure the V notch is at the top of your mouth.  Place your bottom teeth into the mold first, then sit your top teeth in.  Slightly move the jaw forward. (If you are fitting this just for labor delivery only, there is no need to move the jaw forward.)  Bite down firmly until your front teeth align.  Use the mirror for reference.

Step 7. While the Joy is still warm, use your fingers and tongue to form the soft material around your gums and teeth.  Try sucking in also as this will compress the material into place even more so.  Continue to compress your teeth into the material until it cools.  Then you can soak the formed Joy in cold water so it will set.

Purchase Here

If you feel like the mold is off a bit, or you would like to readjust it, just repeat the steps above.  The Joy can be refitted a few more times until you achieve the perfect fit.  Again, snoring mouthpieces are not for everyone and you may not be able to achieve the perfect fitting to prevent the snoring.  Always keep your doctor in the loop during your pregnancy and consult with them at any time.

Storage & Cleaning

The Joy pregnancy mouthguard can be stored in the provided case.  Be sure that the Joy is completely dry during storage.  The case is compact enough for safe keeping next to your bed, under your pillow, or in your toiletry case when you are traveling.

Clean the Joy with an anti-bacterial soap and warm water.  You can also use a Polydent or other denture-brand cleaning tablet or solution.

Use during birthing

The Joy’s sole use is not only to stop you from pregnant snoring, but also to decrease your delivery time in the hospital.  Nearly 30% of women suffer from pregnancy snoring at some point during their pregnancy, but all women prepare for the miracle of actually giving birth – don’t you want it to be as quick and painless as possible?

Dr. Janna Mudd from the University of Maryland did a case study on 38 pregnant women during labor.  Half of the women were given a mouthguard to use during the birthing process, and more specifically during the second stage of labor when the cervix dilates more rapidly and contractions become more frequent, stronger, and closer together.  The mouthguard was intended to prevent the women from clenching their teeth and to overall expedite the labor process.  Dr. Mudd’s results interestingly enough showed that the women who used the mouthguard during delivery cut down the labor time by 12 minutes on average, compared to the controlled group of women who did not receive the mouthguard.  Studies are still being done to gather more data on mouthguards and how they can expedite delivery, but you can get the green light from your doctor now and start the fitting process.

If you intend to use the Joy under your physician’s approval during birthing as the primary use, make sure you mold the Joy to your mouth during the beginning of your third trimester to ensure that you have it ready to go in case you deliver early.  Tuck it away in your hospital bag ahead of time.

Pricing

The Joy Mouthguard retails for $49.98 + $9.95 standard shipping = $59.93.  Not bad for helping you to stop pregnant snoring as well as cut down delivery time during labor, right?
Purchase Here

Share This Post:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Pregnancy Snoring For many pregnant women, carrying extra baby weight, feeling nauseous, and being uncomfortable in general for 9 months aren’t the only nuisances they experience.  Nearly 30% of pregnant woman also start to snore during their pregnancy.  There are several reasons why snoring occurs in pregnant women, weight gain being the primary culprit.  When […] Read More

Will A Snoring Mouthpiece Fix My Snoring Permanently?

When you have a problem, you want a permanent solution and not just a temporary fix, right?  If your problem is snoring, this statement especially rings true.

If you are considering using a snoring mouthpiece and want to know if it’s a permanent fix, the answer to this questions is – yes, it can be. I’ve used a snoring mouthpiece for many years now and know several others who have also. Snoring mouthpieces can be a long term solution that will provide years of snoring relief, as long as you use it as intended and take good care of it.

There is however another permanent solution that may help to reduce or eliminate snoring in some. This solution doesn’t cost a single dollar and can literally save you thousands of dollars over the course of your lifetime. Okay, I will give you one more hint. This solution is one of the most commonly cited new years resolutions. If you guessed “weight loss”, then you would be correct. Losing weight can affect your body in several different ways, including the reduction of snoring.

The (Not So) Easy Permanent Cure For Snoring

Preventing snoring may be as easy as losing a few pounds. Before going any further, I would like to emphasize that not all who snore are overweight and not all who are overweight snore. That being said, if you are overweight, losing as little as 10 lbs may seriously reduce or completely eliminate your snoring. How so? To understand how excessive weight causes snoring, it’s important to first understand where snoring originates from.

In most cases, snoring originates in the airway and may be caused by a number of different factors which are often related. Sometimes, the structure of the airway simply does not permit adequate airflow while asleep. Other times, the airway muscles get old and worn out. Often airways become partly blocked due to surrounding fatty tissue pushing against it. In nearly all instances, the airway becomes narrow and the soft tissues that surround the airway begins to “flap” against each other. This flapping motion creates sound which is known to most of us as snoring.

Excessive fatty tissue tends to store in the neck among other areas of our body. The fat tissues exert pressure on the airway, placing force on it. As we sleep, the muscles that control our jaw, tongue and airways begin to relax and the excessive fat pushes against the airway, causing it to narrow. When this occurs, we start to hear the sound of snoring which is created by the flapping of airway tissue.  By losing weight, you can reduce the fat around the neck which will lessen the amount of pressure on your airway.

Simple enough, right? Not always. As we get older, our bodies are not able to lose weight as easily as it did in younger years. Losing weight also takes a bit of willpower, which is difficult when you live in a fast-paced society that glamorizes calorie dense unhealthy foods.

The Easier Solution?

Perhaps you have tried to lose wight or simply have no interest in doing so. Is there an easier solution?

The snoring mouthpiece is a long-term snoring solution that works night after night, year after year. The luxury of using a mouthpiece is that you don’t have to commit to any major lifestyle changes. Before going to bed, you simply place the mouthpiece inside of your mouth and it does the rest. Upon rising in the morning, remove and clean it before leaving it out to air-dry.

How can such a small piece of plastic stop your snoring? Let’s go back to the explanation of why we snore. As mentioned, a narrowed airway is typically the source of snoring. A snoring mouthpiece rests between the upper and lower teeth and holds the jaw forward. By doing so, it holds the muscles in the airway in a tightened position and prevents the sound of snoring. There are of course other products out there that work in a similar fashion such as the AveoTSD or the Good Morning Snore Solution. Both of these products are known as Tongue Stabilizing Devices and attach to the tip of your tongue to tighten the airway by holding your tongue in the forward position.

Which one works better? In my personal experience testing both types of products, they actually both work well. Each one does however have it’s own advantages and disadvantages.

Is a Mouthpiece Made For Long-Term Use?

When using your a mouthpiece as a permanent solution, you should always use it as directed by the manufacturer. Keep in mind that a part of following the manufacturer’s instruction involves accurately answering their questionnaire prior to purchase. Such questionnaires are designed to determine if you can safely use their product. The company who is selling the mouthpiece is required to ask questions about your oral health such as “Do you have any loose teeth?” or “Does your jaw make a popping noise when chewing or speaking?”. These questions helps them to determine if a mouthpiece is a safe solution in your particular case.

Once you receive your mouthpiece, read over the instructions carefully and follow each step. For safety reasons, it’s very important to follow instructions exactly as printed and contact the manufacturer if you have any further questions.

If you plan on using a snoring mouthpiece or any other medical device for a long period of time, it’s a good idea speak with your doctor who will be able to provide advice for your individual circumstances.

A snoring mouthpiece will continue to work as long as it’s used properly and not worn out.

You will eventually have to purchase a replacement. The useful life of the product greatly depends on two factors. The first factor is the quality of the device that you choose. Just like clothing and cars, not all mouthpieces are created equal. Here is a comparison table that will help you sort through all of the available mouthpiece. Some are designed to last only 2-4 months while others can last over 2 years. The second factor that will determine useful life is the amount of wear that you exert on your mouthpiece. If you tend to grind your teeth (Bruxism) or like to chew on your mouthpiece before going to bed, it’s only going to last a fraction of its useful life.

Clean and inspect your mouthpiece after each use to ensure that it’s in good working order. If it becomes dirty or worn out, it’s time to order a replacement or a better idea is to always keep a spare on hand so that you have a replacement at all times.

Ultimately, it’s up to you and your physician to decide if a mouthpiece is a good long-term snoring solution for you. While most companies will sell you a mouthpiece after satisfying their questionnaire requirements, it’s always a good idea to first speak with your doctor.

 

Share This Post:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Will A Snoring Mouthpiece Fix My Snoring Permanently? When you have a problem, you want a permanent solution and not just a temporary fix, right?  If your problem is snoring, this statement especially rings true. If you are considering using a snoring mouthpiece and want to know if it’s a permanent fix, the answer to […] Read More

How to Keep Your Husband From Snoring

Is your husband’s snoring keeping you up all night? You may spend minutes or even hours nudging him in hopes of getting a break of silence long enough to fall asleep. Unfortunately, the silence is short-lived and the snoring resumes. Eventually, you give up and retreat to the guest bedroom to fall asleep peacefully.

While this scenario may seem comical,  as the spouse of a snorer you probably have a similar story and know that it’s no laughing matter. In fact, the issue of snoring happens to rank among the highest bedroom annoyances for couples. If you have tried everything short of stuffing a sock in his pie hole or taping his mouth closed, you may want to listen up because I have the solution for your bedroom woes.

Start with the Basics

Before moving onto more aggressive snoring solutions, you should first consider some common causes of snoring and work on coming up with a solution. Your husband’s snoring may be caused by a number of factors, many of which can be avoided by making better lifestyle choices. For instance, alcohol, sedative use, or sleeping pills can cause the airway muscles to relax. A relaxed airway is less toned and allows the tissues within the airway to collide with each other, causing the sound of snoring. If your husband uses or overuses any of these, try working with him to come up with a plan to reduce or eliminate his use.

Another possibility may simply be his sleeping position. Some snorers are “positional snorers” meaning that they only snore in certain positions. Positional snorers typically experience more snoring while sleeping on their back and less while sleeping on their side. Simply asking your husband to sleep on his side is not always effective as he will likely roll over onto his back shortly after falling asleep. There are a few methods that can be used to keep him positioned on his side. For instance, fastening a tennis ball to the back of his shirt makes rolling over uncomfortable. Here are a few other methods that you can use.

Snoring is often caused by carrying extra weight. Fat builds up around the neck area and can actually push on the airway, causing a breathing obstruction and snoring. Convincing him to adopt a healthier lifestyle which includes a balanced diet and exercise will not only help with snoring but also has a number of other health benefits. You can speak with him about losing weight but realistically, this will have to be a decision that he makes and is committed to.

Perhaps you have considered all of the above and either they didn’t work or your husband was unwilling to entertain your suggestions. Is it time to throw in the towel and start sleeping in the guest room? Not so fast! There’s actually a snoring solution that I’ve tried and it really works well. It’s called a snoring mouthpiece and it’s a secret weapon that’s used nightly by millions of snorers and it will likely put an end to your husbands snoring problem.

Break Out the Heavy Artillery

Sleep Tight

This is what a typical “boil and bite” mouthpiece looks like.

So convincing your husband to lay off the beer, sleep on his side, or lose weight isn’t working out so well?  The snoring mouthpiece is a simple snoring solution that should be fairly easy for him to adapt to. It’s a small mouthguard-like device that rests between the teeth and prevents snoring. These devices have been used by professionals for years and are now available to (nearly) everyone. Most companies who sell such products may require you to answer a short questionnaire prior to placing your order.

How and Why Does a Mouthpiece Work?

mad2Snoring mouthpieces are actually considered Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) and were invented well over 30 years ago to help those with Sleep Apnea. While the snoring mouthpiece works using the same principal, it should only be used to lessen the sound of snoring and not necessarily to treat OSA. If you suspect that your husband’s snoring is being caused by OSA, he should visit his physician for an evaluation.

These mouthpieces have an upper and lower tray which fit together to form a single unit. While there are several styles to choose from, the “boil and bite” style is perhaps the most popular and effective. With this style of mouthpiece, you simply heat it for a few seconds in a container of hot water and then insert it into your mouth, bite down, push your jaw forward, and hold for several seconds until it cools slightly.

Once the mouthpiece has been formed, it’s ready to put to use. Before going to bed, he simply pops the mouthpiece in and voila, you can enjoy a peaceful night of rest!

The mouthpiece actually holds the jaw slightly forward which opens and tightens the airway. A tight and open airway will not flap around and cause the sound of snoring. There are a number of scientific studies that show imagery of the airway before and after the use of a mouthpiece and the difference between the two is astonishing. Moving and holding the jaw just a fraction of an inch forward tightens and opens the airway which allows air to pass through without obstruction.

Where Can I Get One and How Much Do They Cost?

There are 2 options when it comes to getting a mouthpiece for snoring:

  1. Visit your dentist and have him make a custom device for you. Custom fitted MAD’s usually cost around $3,000 – $5000 and are sometimes covered by insurance. Insurance usually covers MAD’s only for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, not necessarily snoring only. If your mouthpiece is covered, you simply pay your insurance deductible which will of course vary according to your insurance plan. Your dentist will create an impression of your upper and lower teeth and send the impression off to a lab to create a custom mouthpiece. It will be returned to your dentist office a few weeks later and they will ensure that it fits well.
  2. Buy one online. Unfortunately, at this time snoring mouthpieces are only available online and can not be purchased at drug stores or department stores such as Walmart, Walgreens, CVS or Target. You must purchase through an online retailer who will ship a mouthpiece to your house. You will receive an at-home kit which can be used to create a mouthpiece in just a few minutes at home. There’s actually several different companies that make these mouthpieces. Some are similar while others are quite different. If you are interested in learning more, take a look at this comparison table which will help you to make a decision.  Most snoring internet-ordered mouthpieces range in price from $50 up to over $100.

What Else Should I Know About Snoring Mouthpieces?

5tipHere are 5 buying tips that you may want to keep in mind if you decide to give the snoring mouthpiece a try:

  • Choose one that comes with a money back guarantee. There are plenty of companies out there who offer a money back guarantee meaning that you can return it, even after trying it out. In fact, most reputable companies have at least a 30 day satisfaction guarantee. Don’t waste your money on a product that doesn’t offer this.
  • Look closely at where the mouthpiece is made and what it’s made of.  Avoid products that are “Made in China” or may contain “BPA”. Trust me, you don’t want a mouthpiece with either characteristic as it may be toxic or harmful.
  • Shop around. These mouthpieces often go on sale from time to time. You can often find offers with free shipping, 20% off or even buy 1 get 1.
  • Consider how important having an air hole in your mouthpiece is. If you are a mouth breather, this is an important consideration. Those who are not known mouth breathers may still want to consider picking up a mouthpiece that allows for mouth breathing.
  • Consider the useful life of the mouthpiece. Some last only 3 months, some 6 months while others will last a year or more. While it may be less expensive now, you will not want to replace it every few months.

 

Share This Post:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

How to Keep Your Husband From Snoring Is your husband’s snoring keeping you up all night? You may spend minutes or even hours nudging him in hopes of getting a break of silence long enough to fall asleep. Unfortunately, the silence is short-lived and the snoring resumes. Eventually, you give up and retreat to the guest […] Read More

bracesAccording to the American Association or Orthodontics, it’s estimated that over 1.2 million adults in the Unites States are wearing braces to straighten their teeth and to obtain a beautiful smile. It’s also estimated that around 50% of adults snore, meaning that there are at least 600,000 adult snorers out there, some who are considering a snoring mouthpiece and are interested in this one question:

“Can I wear a snoring mouthpiece instead of a retainer?”

This is actually a question that I have received from several of my readers which has prompted me to discuss this topic. Before we get started, I would like to clarify that I am not a physician, only a reviewer of snoring devices with several trials under my belt. You can learn about several products that I have tried right here on this website. That being said, let’s get started by discussing exactly what a retainer is and then we will get down to the bottom of this question.

What is a Retainer?

Typical retainers. Note the metal framework of the one on the left and custom shape of the one on the right

Typical retainers. Note the metal framework of the one on the left and custom shape of the one on the right

So your braces are off and you have been issued a retainer by your orthodontist. What exactly is this for and is it important? Most who have braces are given a retainer shortly after their braces are removed. Your orthodontist may instruct you to wear it for several weeks, 24 hours a day, and you may eventually wear it only while asleep, usually for several additional months until it’s no longer needed. This process usually takes up to a year or more.

While it may not look like much, the primary purpose of the retainer is to prevent your teeth from shifting as your gums heal and stabilize. This prevents your teeth from relapsing to their original position.

This is your typical “boil and bite” style mouthpiece. Notice the upper and lower trays are connected. Also, it’s made from a soft plastic that is not ridged and has no framework.

There are four types of retainers – Hawley, Essix, Zendura, and Bonded, each style has its own advantages and disadvantages. The first three types are removable while the third type remains in place, usually glued in by your orthodontist and then later removed.

If you received a removable retainer and are considering a traditional boil and bite style MAD style mouthpiece, you may have noticed that there are quite a few similarities between the two. While they may appear similar, they are not the same. Here are four key differences between the two:

  • Retainers are often made of a semi-ridged plastic polyvinylchloride or similar material. They may even incorporate a wire frame that conform to your teeth to help keep your retainer in the proper position. This semi-ridged material provides support, preventing your teeth from moving position. In contrast, most snoring mouthpieces are made from a soft, thermoplastic material that is very pliable and often does not have metal framework or additional support to prevent movement.
  • Retainers are created by your orthodontist to fit the exact contour of your teeth. This means every nook and cranny around and in between your teeth. This close fit is essential in when it comes to preventing movement. While there are several boil and bite mouthpieces that take a close impression of your teeth, none of them are going to come close to the fit that your orthodontist will create for you.
  • Retainers are two separate pieces, one for the upper set of teeth and one for the lower set. The two retainers are not connected. With a snoring mouthpiece, the upper and lower trays are fused together which is how your jaw is held forward.
  • Your orthodontist will monitor your progress while wearing your retainer and make adjustment as needed. With a snoring mouthpiece, there is no oversight of an orthodontist.

Simply stated, a snoring mouthpiece is not as close fitting, is one piece, is not as ridged as a retainer and is not intended to be used as a retainer. Doing so will likely result in more harm than good.

Wearing a boil and bite snoring mouthpiece in place of a retainer is not a good idea and it should not be used as a substitute. After wearing your braces for several months, the last thing that you want to do is not wear your retainer and revert back to your old smile.

If you are battling snoring while wearing a retainer, the best option is just to wait until your orthodontist gives you the okay and lets you know that your retainer is no longer needed. Alternatively, you may want to speak with your orthodontist about using a Tongue Stabilizing Device (TSD) in conjunction with your retainer. TSD’s attach to the tip of your tongue which holds the tongue forward and tightens the muscles in the airway. An example of a TSD is the Good Morning Snore Solution, which I have tested and completed a review. While this product works using a different principle in comparison to the MAD, it’s always imperative that you first discuss this option with your orthodontist prior to use.  Once again, you don’t want to lose that smile that you worked so hard to achieve.

Share This Post:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

According to the American Association or Orthodontics, it’s estimated that over 1.2 million adults in the Unites States are wearing braces to straighten their teeth and to obtain a beautiful smile. It’s also estimated that around 50% of adults snore, meaning that there are at least 600,000 adult snorers out there, some who are considering a […] Read More

Can You Die From Snoring?

snoring-2There has been quite a bit of attention drawn towards snoring these days. Millions of us either snore or deal with a snoring partner each night. Aside from being a nuisance for your partner, did you know that snoring can actually kill you? To be more specific, the act of snoring doesn’t actually kill, but it’s often a symptom of a more serious medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

OSA is a medical condition that affects an estimated one in twenty-five middle-aged men and one in fifty middle aged women. Overall, there are an estimated 20 million Americans who have sleep apnea and many will show symptoms such as loud snoring, pauses in breathing, and waking up short of breath. OSA places strain on your cardiovascular system and can lead to a heart attack or stroke among several other issues.

As for snoring, it’s estimated that ninety million American adults snore or about one in three over the age of 18. Snoring not related to other medical conditions such as OSA is known a “benign snoring” and does not pose a hazard to your health in itself.

To recap, there are 90 million snorers and 20 million people who have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, many who are also snorers. If you snore, how can you tell the difference between a potentially dangerous condition such as OSA and benign snoring?

Benign Snoring vs OSA

osa4As mentioned, benign snoring is not an issue while sleep apnea is. Is there a way to tell if your snoring is just snoring or if it’s an indication of sleep apnea? Only a properly trained medical professional can determine the likelihood and ultimately diagnose sleep apnea through a test known as a sleep study. Your doctor may have you complete a questionnaire such as the STOPBANG before deciding your risk for OSA and whether or not further testing is warranted.

There are several symptoms of sleep apnea that you should watch out for. If you experience some or all of the symptoms, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor who can further evaluate your situation.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Overweight- While not all with sleep apnea are overweight and not all who are overweight have sleep apnea, there is a definite correlation between the two. Excessive stored fat, particularly in the neck area, can cause the airway to close up and significantly reduce your ability to properly breathe while sleeping. Women with a neck measurement of 16″+ and men with a neck measurement of 17″+ are at higher risk. If you are overweight or obese, losing even 10-15 lbs can dramatically help with snoring and OSA.
  • Loud snoring – You may be a habitual snorer and not even know it. If you have a bed partner who often complains about your snoring, ask them how often you snore and how intense your snoring is. You may even want to record yourself at night to capture your snoring. There are several smart phone apps that will make this easy. Sleep apnea sufferers will often snore loudly and throughout the night. Snoring can even become so loud that it can be heard through the walls.
  • Pauses in breathing- Does your partner tell you that you often stop breathing while asleep? Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing while asleep. These pauses may last for several seconds and often occur dozens of times every hour. When your breathing pauses due to a blocked airway, you will awaken from sleep to continue breathing. In most cases, you will not recall waking up several times throughout the night.
  • Daytime tiredness- Are you tired throughout the day, although you slept for 7-8 hours at night? As mentioned before, sleep apnea causes pauses in breathing which will alert you to wake up throughout the night. When this happens, you never fall into a deep sleep which is required to rejuvenate your body for the next day. Constant daytime tiredness could be a strong indicator of sleep apnea, especially when experienced with some of the other mentioned symptoms.
  • High blood pressure- If you have high blood pressure, there may be an underlying issue such as sleep apnea that is causing this. When you stop breathing during sleep, your blood pressure tends to spike and may remain high throughout the day.
  • Irritability and moody- Have others noticed that you have become irritable or have mood swings? Perhaps you have noticed this as well and have never put any thought into it. Lack of quality sleep caused by sleep apnea can really wreak havoc on your body and effect your mood. Most of us are cranky when we do not get enough sleep. If we lack sleep on a nightly basis, you may notice an overall change in mood.
  • Morning headaches- When breathing pauses during sleep, your blood oxygen levels rise and blood vessels expand. The expansion of blood vessels can cause headaches which may be noticeable when you wake.

Now that you know some of the symptoms of Sleep Apnea, if you suspect you may suffer from this condition, it’s important to contact your doctor for a further evaluation. Luckily, for those with OSA, there are excellent treatment options available. Here are a few that you may want to consider.

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

cpap2

Weight loss: If your sleep apnea is not too severe, your doctor may recommend that you lose some weight. Shedding a few pounds may be all that it takes to eliminate your sleep apnea. Unfortunately, apnea sufferers may find it difficult to lose weight because they constantly snack on high calorie, low nutrition food to energize them throughout the day. Being deprived of sleep will deprive you of energy and this can cause you to crave junk food which will make it near impossible to lose weight.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine: The CPAP is often referred to as the “gold standard” in the medical sleep industry. In most cases when OSA is diagnosed, a CPAP machine is often prescribed. CPAP machines have come a long way and are more comfortable than ever. Unfortunately, CPAP compliance is rather low for a number of reasons, mostly because the patient doesn’t find the right combination of machine, mask, and humidity level.

Nasal Vents: A relatively new product that has quickly become popular are nasal vents such as the Provent. These are small flexible disks that almost resemble band-aids. They attach to the nose using an adhesive back and are disposed of each morning. Provent harvests the power of your own breathing to hold your airway open and prevent Apnea. Such products should only be prescribed by your doctor. Advantages of nasal vents are that they are compact, easy to use, and disposable. They also have a low up-front cost in comparison to a CPAP machine which can cost several thousands of dollars.

Mandibular Advancement Device MAD: The MAD is a preferred choice by many.  It’s fairly effective and can also be an affordable alternative treatment option for sleep apnea. These simple devices are inserted into the mouth and hold the jaw forward which tightens the airway and prevents it from collapsing. Mandibular Advancement Devices have been around for several decades but have only recently become quite popular thanks to their related product often referred to as a “snoring mouthpiece” which is used to prevent benign snoring. There are several distinct advantages that MAD’s have over traditional treatment options such as the CPAP. Perhaps one of its greatest features is that it is compact and does not require electricity to use. This is an important consideration for those who tend to travel frequently and don’t want to haul around a large machine and mask with them. Oral appliances fit in the palm of your hand and require very little maintenance. Custom fit MAD’s from your dentist will provide the maximum amount of comfort and generally last several years. Self-fitted mouthpieces are less expensive in comparison to the custom fit but do have one disadvantage which is they are not fitted and monitored by your dentist so you are unable to determine their effectiveness.

Surgery: There are a number of different surgery options for snoring, however, theses are often not recommended as a first treatment option for OSA because they are not nearly as effective as alternative treatments and can often cause complications. The pillar procedure is a popular choice in snoring surgery. Implants are placed into the soft palate which cause scar tissue to form. The scar tissue becomes hard and prevents the soft palate from flapping around in the airway. Such surgeries should be considered on an individual basis and are not for everyone.

Snoring Can Be Deadly

It’s important to consider that snoring by itself is not deadly but rather when snoring is caused by a breathing obstruction such as obstructive sleep apnea. It’s estimated that 80% of those who have sleep apnea are currently untreated.  If you suspect that you may have OSA, don’t guess if you have this dangerous condition. Speak with your doctor who can properly diagnose your symptoms.

When Snoring is Simply “Snoring”

Vital sleep2In many cases, snoring is simply benign snoring and is harmless with the exception of the damage that it can do to relationships. Where snoring is simply, well snoring, there are a number of snoring solutions out there that can help. One of the most effective solution is the snoring mouthpiece which functions using the same concept as the mandibular advancement devices that are prescribed by your doctor.

Snoring mouthpieces can be fitted at home using boil and bite technology. They usually cost between $50-$100 and are very effective, as I have found out. There are a number of different options to choose from, some better than others. Here’s a list of products that I have tested and reviewed.

Share This Post:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Can You Die From Snoring? There has been quite a bit of attention drawn towards snoring these days. Millions of us either snore or deal with a snoring partner each night. Aside from being a nuisance for your partner, did you know that snoring can actually kill you? To be more specific, the act of snoring […] Read More

Disclosure