A snoring breakthrough or another waste of money?

If you Google 'stop snoring' you are instantly presented with over a million results, with pages and pages of clever devices and treatments that claim to halt a common problem, affecting many men and women in the UK. These include mouthpieces, chin straps, nose strips and throat rinses – and for long-suffering partners of snorers, ear plugs.

Recently, another device that aims to stop snoring was announced and is currently listed on crowd-funding website Kickstarter. Claiming to be the first 'smart', non-invasive snoring solution, the device works by monitoring you while you sleep and adjusting sleeping position before snoring wakes either you or your partner.

The Nora comes in two parts; a padded insert that is placed underneath the pillow and a wireless mic that sits beside the bed. When the mic detects snoring, a message is sent to the insert under the pillow, which gently pumps up, moving your head.

The science behind this snoring solution

Snoring is caused by the muscles in our throat, mouth and nose, relaxing as we sleep, resulting in a blockage or restriction of our airways. When we breathe, the restricted airways create vibrations of the soft tissues which is the sound you hear.

By gently moving the head, the throat muscles are stimulated, meaning snoring is stopped before it can wake you or your partner. According to the makers of the Nora device, testers have reported a great improvement in the quality and amount of sleep they experience. Currently, the Nora is in development, but with over £50,000 already pledged on Kickstarter it aims to be available from May 2016.

Why see an ENT specialist for snoring?

Before purchasing a snoring solution device such as the Nora or any of the other snoring products that are available, many patients can achieve an improvement in their snoring by making simple lifestyle changes and ENT surgeon Mr Julian Hamann can advise you on what steps you should take first. These can include losing weight if you are overweight, cutting down on alcohol, giving up smoking and exercising regularly.

However, if your snoring is such that it is causing a number of related problems, due to poor sleep patterns, and lifestyle changes or other non-surgical solutions have failed, then surgery could be the answer. Surgical procedures that can improve snoring include removal of tonsils or removal of the uvular and some of the soft palate.

Mr Julian Hamann sees many patients in London and the South East for problems associated with snoring. To book a snoring consultation, call 01892 740671 or email julie@ent-care.co.uk.