Help with Snoring in Bedford
Many people who snore suffer seriously disturbed sleep patterns - as do their partners. This in turn can lead to loss of concentration, daytime sleepiness and reduced energy. Simple snoring results from a partial closure of the airway during sleep. The soft tissue then vibrates to cause the sound of snoring. There is also a form of severe snoring known as obstructive sleep apnoea or OSA. This is typically where snorers appear to hold their breath before uttering a spluttering gasping or choking sound before resuming their snoring. A reduced oxygen level in the blood releases adrenalin which causes a partial – usually forgotten - awakening. There is increasing evidence that OSA is associated with cancer as well as with high blood pressure, diabetes and a propensity for heart attacks and strokes. It is thought to affect more than one half of one per cent of the population – that is half a million people in the UK.
Weight loss, stopping smoking and reducing alcohol intake can all help to reduce the milder forms of snoring. But particularly where the cause is anatomical – shape of the soft palate, or obstruction of the nostrils caused by previous injury – this may not suffice. One of the most effective treatments is the provision of an appropriate gumshield ("mandibular advancement splint therapy") which opens the airway by changing the position of the lower jaw and preventing it from dropping back during sleep.
In the case of patients who may have OSA, measurement of the adjusted neck circumference followed, if appropriate, by a home sleep study is the optimum way to confirm the diagnosis. A portable recorder is used to monitor patients. Therapies such as continuous positive airway pressure may then be prescribed.
If you have a snoring problem and would like to discuss possible treatments, please contact reception who will be glad to book you a consultation with Dr Shanks.