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Does Snoring Have You Up All Night?

The snoring treatments you’ve been waiting for

Is there a cure for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea? continued...

Snoring Cure No. 2: Try over-the-counter remedies

If allergies or nasal congestion seem to be the cause of snoring, an antihistamine or decongestant might be all you need to breathe freely and sleep comfortably. Antisnoring strips and sprays exist, but Pascualy says they haven’t been found to be particularly effective.

Snoring Cure No. 3: Use oral devices

Dental appliances that hold the tongue and jaw in such a way that the airway remains open have been found to be quite effective for benign snorers, with success rates ranging from 50%–80%. They can also be effective for OSA, although at lower rates of success (40%–50%). What’s key, say experts, is to have one custom-made by a dentist, rather than buying an over-the-counter version or one from the Internet.

Snoring Cure No. 4: Try continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the leading therapy for sleep apnea. The CPAP device consists of a mask worn over the nose and face during sleep, which is connected to a pump that pushes air into the nasal passages, keeping the airway open. Compliance is a problem, though. The treatment only works if you use the mask regularly, and some people find it uncomfortable, or are self-conscious about wearing it in front of their partner.

Snoring Cure No. 5: Elect to have surgery

As a last resort, there are several surgical procedures doctors can perform to increase the size of your airways. In some cases it’s just a matter of fixing a structural problem such as a deviated septum or removing adenoids. Other techniques include placing implants in the palate, which stimulate the formation of scar tissue and reduce snoring, or removing the uvula. Both of these procedures have a success rate of around 50%, though the long-term benefits are not yet known.

Reviewed on November 19, 2008

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