Written by: virginia on June 1, 2012 @ 5:04 pm
It is a little known fact that being obese or overweight significantly increases the likelihood that you will also snore when you sleep. This is due to the gain in weight round the neck. This additional weight causes the airway to narrow when you are asleep. Whilst you sleep the muscles also relax and the lower jaw will fall backwards. All this contributes to a narrowing of the airway. The air then has to go quicker through the narrowed airway to provide the lungs with required amount of air. The increased air speed causes the soft tissues to vibrate resulting in the snoring noise.
A gain in weight may cause someone who hasn’t snored before to all of a sudden start snoring. On the face of it this may not appear like an issue for the snorer. But for the sleeping partner this can be infuriating. Snoring can make it tough for the sleeping partner to get to sleep. In the end the snoring can cause problems in the relationship and in many cases has been known to end in separation or divorce. More often than not one person will finish up sleeping in another room. If this isn’t possible the sleeping partner might resort to ear plugs and even sleeping pills.
However the snoring can be an indication of a much more damaging condition called obstructive sleep apnoea. Snoring loudly and being obese are significant risk indicators of sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea (blocked airway) is a natural progression from snoring (partly blocked airway) in certain circumstances. The sleep apnoea sufferer will stop breathing many times in the night. Luckily the bodies emergency system will get them breathing again, normally with a loud gasp or choking sound. The pauses in breathing put the body under a lot of strain strain and increase the chances of dieing prematurely by 30%. Sleep apnoea is known to increase the probabilities of stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
If you believe you or someone you know may be experiencing sleep apnoea it is highly recommended to see your doctor for referral to a specialist for diagnosis.
A specialist will be able to prescribe a simple and effective treatment such as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or an MAA (mandibular advancement appliance). There isn’t any cure for sleep apnoea, these treatments instead control the sleep apnoea by keeping the airway open while asleep. The CPAP machine is a face mask with a hose hooked up to a machine that pumps pressurised air into the airways. The MAA is an oral device similar in appearance to a sports mouth guard, it is worn while sleeping and holds the lower jaw forward to maintain an open airway.
Some studies have shown that over 80% of patients prefer mandibular advancement appliances to CPAP. The newest 4th generation MAA is the Somnowell. It is small, discreet, and very effective at controlling snoring and sleep apnoea.
Loran Simon is a director at Somnowell. The Somnowell is the first chrome cobalt alloy anti snore device used in the professional management of snoring. The Somnowell is considered by many practitioners to be the Rolls Royce of mandibular advancement devices. For further information about snoring here.weight control