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Snoring can be hiding more serious health problems such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
OSA occurs when your airway closes partially or completely, while you are sleeping, stopping you from breathing and creating restless sleep. This can happen hundreds of times during the night with each period of no breathing lasting between 10-60 seconds. This occurs because the muscle control in the throat collapses and you must partially wake up to restore the muscle control. These interrupted breathing patterns result in fragmented and poor quality sleep leaving you with daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
It can be likened to drinking through a paper straw with the straw being your throat. As the walls of the paper straw collapse (similar to a loss of muscle control) it becomes harder to drink through the straw, and the more you suck through the straw the greater the effort required to draw the liquid. During sleep, in an attempt to overcome the obstruction to the airway, you breath harder using your chest walls and muscles, but the harder you breath the more the walls of the airway collapse.
OSA should be properly diagnosed generally by your GP ordering a sleep study, which can be done in your own home or in a sleep facility. The trigger for presenting to your GP is usually you noticing very low daytime energy levels and alertness and an increased likelihood of falling asleep in the day, or a partner complaining about your snoring.
Depending on the severity of the sleep apnoea it may be advised to use a CPAP machine or be fitted with a mandibular advancement splint. This device fitted in the mouth, prevents the airway from collapsing during sleep by holding the jaw forward.
On referral from your sleep physician or your GP we can provide you with a mandibular advancement splint.
Whilst there are many brands available on the internet, the most reputable and highly researched brand is provided by Somnomed and is called the Somnodent. Other devices can cause you to simply become a mouth breather with drying of the mouth a very uncomfortable side effect. The Somnodent is designed to prevent this from occurring. It works by advancing your lower jaw into a comfortable forward position via incremental adjustments, to suit your personal comfort level. This should then effectively reduce snoring and sleep apnoea and allow a comfortable night’s sleep.
Somnodent Appliance by Somomed -www.somnomed.com