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27% of Americans say they
snore almost every night
Sleep Foundation’s 2002
Sleep in America poll)
February 2003 Issue 12
palatal implant promises
one-stop cure for snoring
Snoring is caused by the vibration of tissues in your mouth, soft palate
and throat. As we get older and fatter, our throat muscles get
flabby, so the tissues vibrate more noisily. If you can prevent the
vibration, you'll stop snoring.
You can do that, potentially, by stiffening
that flabby tissue. That's the goal of three relatively low-cost
outpatient procedures that address the problem of snoring.
The first is Radio Frequency Tissue
Reduction. Your physician will insert an instrument into your palate or
uvula and deliver low levels of heat via radiofrequencies. A portion
of your tissue will literally be burned away and the resulting scar tissue
stiffens the palate.
A second method is called injection
snoreplasty. In this case, your doctor injects a chemical into your
throat tissues which has a similar effect to the heat; that is, your
tissues are scarred and stiffened.
Both these methods are relatively quick but
by no means painless. Repeat visits are often needed to get a
satisfactory reduction in snoring. And, over time, it's possible
that your body will "remodel" the scars and your snoring will resume.
Which brings us to the newest approach to
tissue stiffening: small, polyester implants that are inserted through a
special device into three places in your palate. According to the
developers, Restore Medical Inc. of St. Paul, MN, this implant procedure
can be completed in 10 minutes and is virtually painless. No return
visit is needed. The implants are designed to be permanent but are
removable if necessary.
Late last month, Restore received FDA
approval to start marketing what it calls the Pillar Palatal Implant
System and is planning a general commercial release of the system
in the second quarter of 2003, initially focusing on otolaryngologists
(ear, nose and throat physicians).
It remains to be seen which of these three
approaches (RFTR, snoreplasty, Pillar) will prove most popular (and
effective) over time.. But habitual snorers can be hopeful that
these solutions are likely to be less painful, less costly and at least as
effective as surgical treatments for snoring.
Click for more information on:
is not written by a medical professional. We welcome comments and
supplementary research from any physician or sleep specialist reading
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provided by PutanEndtoSnoring does not substitute for the
advice of your physician.
This Newsletter's Featured Product: SnorePlugs
Most readers of this
newsletter may have no use for this product -- but your
long-suffering bed partner will! Direct from Taiwan, SnorePlugsTM
are next-generation hydrophilic foam earplugs, with
very high noise reduction (SNR 37db), softer and
more comfortable than non-hydrophilic plugs.
They absorb moisture in the ear canal, keeping them
comfortable for longer periods. They're also
long-lasting, keeping their shape no matter how much
you scrunch them up each night when you put them in.
Add these to your partner's Christmas stocking and you'll sleep through the night with your
Buy SnorePlugs at The Snoring
Hey, FDA, it's not a dental appliance, it's
an athletic mouthguard!
Effective December 12, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration formalized its regulations for anyone marketing a dental
appliance as an anti snoring/sleep apnea device. As you'd expect,
the FDA requires products to carry such warnings as: may cause intra-oral
soreness, obstruction of oral breathing, loosening or flaring of lower
teeth, and general tooth movement.
It's hard to object to the FDA looking out for our
welfare. The catch, however, is that the FDA has declared that dental
appliances must be made available by prescription only -- which is why the
Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine rushed to inform us of the FDA ruling.
While dentists may be needed to fit some of the higher end,
custom-molded devices, most people are perfectly capable of fitting the
type of soft plastic, low-cost mouthpiece that many of us have found very
effective in reducing our snoring.
If you think a mouthpiece may help reduce your
snoring, you can go see your dentist and spend several hundred dollars on
a prescription-only product -- or, you can order a product from outside
the U.S. (we recommend one of our loyal advertisers,
Therapy Control Products in
Canada). Or -- and here it gets amusing -- you can buy an athletic mouthguard at
your local sports store. These are pretty much the same things as
mouthpieces designed for snorers -- they help reposition your jaw so that
your airways are unobstructed during sleep. But they are not FDA
regulated. One of our readers recommends the
Brain Pad, available from sports
Are these cheap plastic devices as good as the
expensive dentist-fit appliances? Probably not, and if you suffer
from obstructive sleep apnea, you should certainly have a discussion with
your dentist. But for primary snoring, you have little to lose (and
lots to save) by at least trying the less expensive solution.
This section features some
interesting posting to our forum. This issues relates reader Mark's
positive experience with a common over-the-counter remedy for congestion.
Has anyone found Vicks Vaporub to be effective in stopping
snoring? I have had bronchial congestion and have been rubbing my chest
and throat with Vicks before going to sleep. The vapors seem to clear my
nose and throat and my wife says I have not snored since using Vicks. I am
now putting a small amount on my upper lip just below my nose and it seems
to work. Anyone else had any experience with Vicks?
Editors comment: a few other readers chimed in to
agree that Vicks has worked for them. The conclusion readers should
draw is that for many people, anything that helps you breathe easier at
night will alleviate snoring. If you don't like the smell of Vicks,
try aromatherapy. You can also get Breathe Right nasal strips embedded
with Vicks (click on the drugstore.com ad above to find these online).
your comments or
Read About Aromatherapy for Snoring
Snoreeze Now Available in U.S.
Throat sprays typically work the same way; they coat your throat with natural
oils, so that your throat tissues vibrate less loudly. What sets the sprays
apart is quality of ingredients -- and price. The Snoring Shop is delighted to
offer Europe's market-leading anti-snoring throat spray, Snoreeze, and proud
that we can offer it at a very competitive price.
Snoreeze has all-natural ingredients including peppermint oil for a
breathe-freshening taste. Order
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