Do you snore?

Do you snore? If so….read about some of the very recent – and perhaps – more unusual ‘cures’ for snoring

Over the last few years, there has been a gradual recognition that snoring is a really huge and serious problem, and that consequently it costs the world’s health services a small fortune, due to the many long-term and life threatening effects. Worldwide research has confirmed all this very fully, and as a result there has been a proliferation of ‘so-called cures’ or therapies.

None of them however would appear so far to have gained any form of medical approval. Some of them are detailed below for your future ‘consideration,’ with a little published background detail on each. Keep your eyes open for Part Two of this feature with some equally amazing new developments to combat heavy snoring.

A Robotic Bear
As ever, the Japanese are not content with a low-tech solutions to the problem and have designed and built a robotic bear that flips over someone’s head, whilst sleeping, in order to open their airways through the changing of their position.
The bear works as a pillow and has a built-in microphone. If it detects loud snoring, a paw reaches up to turn the snorer’s head sideways. It was recently featured at the International Robot Show in Japan and is targeted specifically at snorers whose snoring inhibits their blood oxygen level, with a separate hand monitor sensing when blood oxygen levels drop.
Verdict: This seems to be an expensive and quite complex substitute for getting pushed hard by your partner. Cost: Unknown.

Nose Filters
It would appear that these nose filters, that are inserted nightly in each nostril, and then fastened with adhesive tape, did actually produce some interesting results. They were however considered mostly appropriate for those with severe breathing disorders, severe heart disease, or acute respiratory inflammation or infection. In the USA, where they were developed, they are prescription only, and each filter has on a one off use only, being available in packs of thirty.
The filter, which is attached to the bottom of each nostril, contains valves that allow in air, but make breathing out slightly more difficult. This increases pressure in the rest of the airway, helping to keep it open. This in turn prevents or reduces snoring caused by sleep apnoea.
Verdict: Given some interest by the Sleep Centres in the UK – but at £70 for a 30 day supply are unlikely to be prescribed when cheaper and perhaps much more effective alternatives are already available.

Magnetic Implants
Head and neck specialists in the US have developed this treatment. A narrowing of the respiratory passage, often associated with being overweight, is one of the main causes of snoring. It is also associated with sleep apnoea – which stops people from breathing during sleep – a serious and potentially dangerous condition.
Some tests have been carried out on animals in the USA. So far, the results show that the implants prevented airway collapse during sleep, and that the magnets were not rejected. Normal swallowing and eating were not affected by the magnets, which are contained in plastic moulds. Nor was there any sign of infection.
Verdict: “Repelling magnets could represent an implantable alternative to CPAP if human studies reveal similar findings,” say researchers. Cost: As yet unknown but an expensive operation would be required.

Improbable? Expensive? Unlikely? Only time will tell.

In the meantime the quiet simplicity of an NHS Approved mouthpiece or MAD, and its ready availability over the counter for a very small price of around only £30, clearly leads the way as the patient’s most successful and favourite route.

Look out for Part Two: This deals with more developments using a form of Radiotherapy Treatment, Annual Injections into the Palate, and an iPod style Sound system with a microphone attached to your lips.