Snoring is often the butt of unkind jokes, and like many sleep disorders it can be hard for the non-sufferer to empathize. However for people with a severe problem, it can be incredibly disruptive, to multiple aspects of health and wellbeing, from rest to relationships.
Often people are driven to real desperation to find a solution, including surgery to the soft palate. But surgery and anesthesia are not without risks of many kinds, and as the specific cause underlying the snoring problem is rarely identified clearly beforehand, the outcomes are highly variable. For many, pain, risk and recovery time associated with deliberately damaging the upper respiratory system can end up bringing little or no long-term relief.
Others experiment with various devices, worn on the nose or in the mouth, which seek to realign the angle of the jaw and open up the throat and airways. For some this can be effective in a functional way, but for a lot of users the qualitative cost is just too high. They are uncomfortable to wear, or don’t stay put in the mouth – causing waking that is more disruptive than the snoring in the first place. And for those seeking a solution because of the impact on an intimate relationship… well, a mouthful of plastic is hardly a great aid to romance.
Before going down this route, many patients would be far better advised to seek non-surgical options, such as exercise. Many exercises developed in other fields are useful to snorers, including those used by voice therapists and singing trainers: these people work professionally to help their clients open up their airways and release the tensions and blocks which can force the breath through unnaturally constricted openings. They don’t take long to perform, but need to be done absolutely correctly, and often involve producing unusual sounds. For many these sounds will be pleasanter than the sounds they produce over and over again through the night, and once the tones are mastered they are easily memorized and repeated.
The multitude of small muscles at the back of the throat and in the nasal passages respond really well to this approach, and over relatively short time period – a few short weeks – the muscles can be lifted and tightened, completely naturally and safely, offering a long term solution to a problem that may have persisted for years. Before embarking on any medical or surgical assistance to ease a snoring problem, it is well worth just trying the exercise route – it offers no risk whatsoever, and can bring results in as little as three weeks time.