Quiet Please: Ending the Noise from Snoring

Published Online: Wednesday, September 1, 2004

A pilot study of 12 individuals may shed some light on how to cut down the noise caused by snoring. Reporting in the Archives of Otolaryngology (June 2004), the researchers noted that snoring was the result of unstable airflow through the throat that occurred when the airway was constricted during sleep?causing sleep apnea.

Snoring from partial blockage, however, is associated only with the noise others are forced to hear. Therefore, the researchers focused their study on the vibrations, mainly of the soft tissue of the palate, caused by the turbulence in the snorers' airway. To stiffen the palate, they inserted 3 snippets of polyester braid into the mouths of the participants.

The patients reported a drop in daytime sleepiness after the procedure. The patients' spouses reported dramatic changes. The spouses' ratings of the snoring's loudness fell from 79 out of 100 before the procedure, to 48 several months later.

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