doctor instructingSnoring is not at all funny. It may be a sign that you may have sleep apnoea, a breathing problem which can give rise to breathing pauses and reduced ventilation during sleep. An article from has featured some facts about snoring:

  • About 33% (one third) of older adults snore. Snoring occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing those tissues to vibrate as you breathe, creating hoarse or harsh sounds.

  • As you doze off and progress from a lighter sleep to deep sleep, the muscles in the roof of your mouth (back part, the soft palate), tongue and throat relax.  If those muscles in your throat relax enough, they vibrate and may partially obstruct your airway.

  • The more narrowed your airway, the more forceful the airflow becomes. Tissue vibration increases, and your snoring gets louder.

  • A low, thick soft palate or enlarged tonsils or tissue in the back of your throat (adenoids) can narrow your airway.  Also, if the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula) is enlarged, airflow can be obstructed and vibration increased. Excessive weight contributes to the narrowing of throat tissues.

  • Snoring can also occur if you consume too much alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol acts as a sedative, relaxing throat muscles. Chronic nasal congestion or a crooked partition between your nostrils (deviated nasal septum) may be the reason. Snoring may be an occasional problem, or it may be a habit.

  • Snoring may be associated with sleep apnoea. In this serious condition, excessive sagging of throat tissues cause your airway to collapse, preventing you from breathing. Sleep apnoea breaks up loud snoring with 10 seconds or more of silence. Eventually the lack of oxygen and an increase in carbon dioxide signals you to wake up, forcing your airway open with a loud snort.

  • The severity of your snoring can determine the best treatment. To diagnose its severity, snoring is graded from the bed partner’s point of view: Grade 1: Heard only if you listen close to the face; Grade 2: Heard in the bedroom; Grade 3: Heard just outside the bedroom with the door open and Grade 4: Heard outside the bedroom with the door closed.

  • Untreated, persistent snoring may raise your lifetime risk of developing health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and even heart failure and stroke. In children, snoring may increase their risk of attention-deficit /hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  • Traditional surgery may be done as a last resort. The surgeon will tighten and trim excess tissues.  The procedure reduces snoring intensity most of the time.  

  • By a procedure called laser assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUD), a small hand-held laser beam is used to shorten the soft palate and remove the uvula. Removing excessive tissue enlarges your airway and reduces vibration. Treatments occur four to six weeks apart.  

  • Radiofrequency tissue volume reduction (somnoplasty) uses a low-intensity radiofrequency signal to remove part of the soft palate to reduce snoring. It’s done as an out-patient procedure under local anesthesia (deadening of the site). Slight scarring of the soft palate results, which may help to reduce snoring.

  • Dental devices are formfitting mouthpieces that help bring forward the position of your tongue and soft palate to keep you air passage open. Nasal strips help many to increase the area of their nasal passage, thereby enhancing their breathing.

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) uses a pressurized mask over one’s nose while one sleeps. The mask is attached to a small pump that forces air through your airway to keep it from collapsing. CPAP eliminates snoring and prevents sleep apnoea. It is the preferable method of treating this latter problem, but it is cumbersome and uncomfortable.

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Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.