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          Coping with Snoring

          July 12, 2005

          Is your partner’s snoring leaving you at your wits’ end? Are you forced to sleep on the couch because you snore so loudly? Here are some treatment options, but it’s best to consult a medical specialist to find out what’s right for you:

          • Positional therapy
            Sleeping on your side or stomach may help reduce snoring. There are a number of devices that may help prevent you from sleeping on your back.
          • Therapy
            Stress affects your breathing, so various methods of stress management may help alleviate snoring. Breathing techniques, for example, can help reduce stress and create a new breathing pattern. Also, hypnotherapy can be used to treat anxiety and depression, both of which may be factors contributing to the snoring. Some people have found success with aromatherapy as well, such as using rose and other relaxing smells.
          • Quit smoking
            You may be allergic to the ingredients in tobacco, which may be a cause of your snoring. Simply being around smoke may be a contributing factor.
          • Exercise
            Exercise can help reduce stress and improve breathing patterns. It’s important not only that you exercise, but that you do so in the right conditions to reduce snoring. Exercise in an environment that will not inflame any allergic responses. For example, swimming in a chlorinated pool or jogging in a meadow where you’re allergic to the weeds may make the situation worse. For purposes of controlling snoring, gentle exercises like walking are better than more rigorous exercises like hard running.
          • Weight loss
            Obesity is thought to contribute to snoring, so losing weight is frequently recommended as a treatment if you are overweight.
          • Oral appliances
            Devices like a mandibular repositioning appliance or a tongue retaining device work to create a cleaner airway passage. Medical professionals with this expertise can mold, fit and adjust them.
          • Over-the-counter devices

            Chin strips:The theory behind chin strips is that if you can keep a person’s mouth closed, you can stop the snoring. Some devices go over one’s head and under the chin to keep the mouth shut.

            Oral vestibular shield: This device, which looks like a small plastic shield, goes in your mouth to keep air from passing through the mouth and to promote breathing through the nose.

            Nasal dilators: Athletes often use nasal dilators to breathe more easily and get more oxygen. This same technique, which goes on the nose with an adhesive to open up the nasal passage, can help in snoring.

            Nasal sprays: Many have homeopathic ingredients that can help with allergies, and vitamins that can be absorbed to reduce snoring.

          • Medication
            There are several medications that may treat snoring, and should be considered with the advice and recommendation of a physician.
          • Surgery and prosthetic devices
            Many people who snore may also suffer from sleep apnea, and should therefore consult a doctor.
          • Ear plugs
            Ear plugs may keep your relationship intact and let you have a restful night’s sleep if you’re the “victim” of someone else’s snoring.
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