Surgery should be a last resort when it comes to trying to solve snoring problems. Until then, here are the best seven alternatives to snoring surgery!
Although snoring surgery can be effective for stopping snoring, it’s a very invasive way to tackle the problem.
Nobody wants to go under the knife if there is an easier option and, in this case, there are several.
If you are presently thinking of having surgery to stop you from snoring, you need to be aware there are no guarantees.
As with many other things in life, results can vary from one person to the next.
Some people have snoring surgery and find it only reduces the volume of their snoring.
Other find it makes little difference at all.
Even when surgery successfully stops snoring entirely, the problem sometimes returns a few months or years down the line.
When snoring surgery fails, apart from being a disappointment, it can also be like a kick in the teeth.
Surgery is easily the most expensive anti-snoring treatment. It often costs several thousand pounds. That’s a lot of money to gamble on an unpleasant procedure that may not work.
Not surprisingly, many people who have problems with snoring choose to forgo the risks of surgery and try alternative options instead.
Let’s take a look at seven of the most popular alternatives to snoring surgery
What Will I Learn?
1. Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)
MADs are a good alternative to a type of snoring surgery called maxillomandibular advancement (MMA).
MMA is a harsh surgical procedure that moves the upper and lower jaws forward.
When the jaws move forward in this way, they bring the tongue forward with them. This opens up the airways, preventing the back of the tongue from creating the turbulence that causes snoring.
They have receptacles for the upper and lower teeth. When correctly adjusted, these devices use the teeth to force the lower jaw forward.
As with the MMA surgical procedure, MADs prevent the back of the tongue from restricting airflow and causing turbulence.
The big difference between wearing a MAD to stop snoring as opposed to having MMA surgery is the jaw is only temporarily advanced with a MAD.
The surgical procedure is a permanent jaw modification. That’s why the upper jaw needs advancing as well.
2. Tongue Stabilizing Device (TSD)
This type of anti-snoring aid is also known as a tongue retaining device (TRD).
It’s the non-surgical equivalent to a procedure known as genioglossus advancement.
Genioglossus advancement is yet another way of pulling the tongue forward to improve airflow at the back of the throat.
Surgeons begin the procedure by cutting into the bone at the front of the jaw and pulling a small section forward.
The bone brings the tongue with it and is then held in place with a small screw. TSDs do a similar thing in a less invasive manner.
TSDs are anti-snoring devices you place in your mouth before going to sleep.
The front section of the device fits over the mouth. Once in place, the lips and teeth help prevent the device from moving.
TSDs have a bulbous section at the front as well.
When you apply pressure to the bulb with your fingers, place your tongue in it, and then take your fingers away, it creates a vacuum.
This pulls the tongue forward and holds it in place while you sleep.
3. Snoring Chin Straps
Snoring chin straps are another good alternative to surgery.
Some people use them instead of a MAD or TSD because they find them more comfortable to wear.
They are also a great option for anyone who does not like to spend their sleeping hours with a gadget in their mouth.
When you place the straps around your head and jaw, they provide a constant external pressure that advances the lower jaw and holds it forward.
Chins straps do the same thing as MADs do, but apply external pressure instead of applying pressure (via the teeth) within the mouth.
They can be a particularly good option for people who cannot use a MAD because they have false teeth or dental crowns at the front of the mouth.
4. CPAP Machines
They consist of a machine that contains a small air compressor, a face mask, and a piece of tubing that connects them together.
If you use CPAP to control your snoring, you will need to wear the face mask all through the night.
The compressor provides a constant flow of pressurized air via the mask.
While you are sleeping, the pressurized air applies pressure to your throat and the back of the tongue, keeping your airways nice and clear.
Some people use CPAP machines they get via a doctor, others buy their own.
The machines are more expensive than most other types of anti-snoring device but having surgery to stop you from snoring would cost you much more.
5. EPAP Machines and Devices
EPAP has a lot in common with CPAP. EPAP is an acronym for expiratory positive airway pressure. CPAP is short for continuous positive airway pressure.
EPAP is a newer technology than CPAP. You could think of it as CPAP’s baby brother.
There are two types of EPAP device. The first type is a machine that connects to a face mask via a tube in a similar way to CPAP.
The second type is a device that fits over and inside the nostrils.
EPAP machines do not have a compressor, but they do have a special type of valve.
The technology does not need a compressor because the pressure is generated internally, via the lungs, when you exhale.
Unlike CPAP, the pressure is not constant. It’s only there when you breathe out.
When you inhale wearing an EPAP face mask, the valve allows the air to flow through it freely. You breathe normally.
However, the valve closes during the exhale.
This causes a partial restriction to airflow. It necessitates a slight pressure build-up to get the air through the valve. As with CPAP, this pressure keeps the airways clear and prevents snoring.
Not all EPAP devices consist of a machine and a face mask. There are also simpler options that fit to the nose and have a special valve that sits in or over the nostrils.
6. Anti-Snoring Mouth Strips
Anti-snoring mouth strips are another way people can control their snoring without having to endure surgery.
The strips go over the lips and have a special adhesive on the back that holds them in place.
The strips hold the mouth shut during sleep and work well for many people who snore through their mouths.
However, they won’t help if you are a nose snorer.
In fact, it’s possible they may make the problem worse.
7. Nasal Dilators
If you are a nose snorer, using nasal dilators could be the best way to get your snoring under control.
Even if you didn’t know what they were, you may have seen this type of anti-snoring aid before. They resemble a couple of tiny, vented plastic thimbles. Instead of placing them on your fingers, you insert them in your nostrils.
The name says it all. Because nasal dilators are wider than your nostrils, they open them up. This improves airflow through the nose and can, ultimately, be a good way to stop nose snoring.
Nasal dilators can be a good alternative to septoplasty. This is an unpleasant type of nose surgery that involves straightening the tissues and bones in the center of the nose.
Given the choice between placing a couple of dilators in the nostrils or having septoplasty, a lot of snorers will choose nasal dilators every time.
Alternatives to Snoring Surgery – Summary
There are a number of other snoring treatments that are good alternatives to surgery.
This article only details the most popular ones.
Obviously, there are plenty of people who have successfully stopped snoring by having surgery. It can work well but, as with the various alternatives, surgery does not work for all.
It’s also important to remember whenever you go under the knife or have general anesthesia, there are always dangers involved.
That’s why you have to sign all those consent forms before such procedures.
MADs, TSDs, chinstraps, and all the other anti-snoring solutions don’t present the dangers that surgery does. These less invasive methods are also cheaper than surgery.
Certain types of device may work better for some people than others.
They all have their pros and cons but, if you are currently looking for a good way to stop snoring never think surgery is the only way out.
It’s only an option and it may not be the best one for you.