Research suggests that women who snore are at an increased risk for hypertension and heart disease. This brings us to the treatment options available to the patient. Fortunately, there are several medical options to choose from depending on the advice of your doctor/health practitioner.
Generally, doctors would advise you to start with lifestyle adjustments such as reducing alcohol and tobacco usage, cutting down on relaxant drugs use, sleeping on your side, elevating the head side of the bed, treating nasal conditions, and using nasal strips to begin with, and check if this will curb the condition. However, in severe cases (and based on the sleep test results), treatment options such as those outlined below may be suggested:
1. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): This is the most popular treatment prescribed by doctors whereby a small mask is to be worn at the time of sleep by the patient. This mask is attached to a pump which forces air rhythmically into the air passage thus keeping it open. The device usually comes attached with a humidifier and is the size of a tissue box.
2. Oral Appliances: Prescriptions of dental mouthpieces which push the tongue and soft palate forward to facilitate an unobstructed air passage are common. Mandibular splints are also used to move the lower jaw forward to achieve a clear, unobstructed air passage. Such fitments require a specialist during fixture and a check-up every six months to readjust the appliance if required.
3. Uvulo-Palato-Pharyngoplasty (UPPP): This procedure widens the throat by trimming the excess tissues there to keep it free from blockages. However, this surgery is the last resort for many patients and doctors. It is an invasive procedure that requires the use of general anaesthesia and may actually backfire causing a damaged pharynges and a more constricted and scarred air passage.
4. Laser Surgery: The LAUP is still not approved as a desirable treatment by the American Medical Association. It is similar to the UPPP procedure done with a device emanating laser beam.