New Tools to Overcome Snoring Problem

There is good news for those who are still looking for a solution to stop snoring habit? Scientists discovered a new method to overcome the problem of snoring. Experts use a tool called a "chin stroker". This tool stimulates the muscles under the chin with a small electric shock. This stimulation is believed to be effective in helping to relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is the cessation of breathing during sleep characterized by snoring. Snoring sound is caused by air flowing through the airways narrow. Airway narrowing is due to the movement of the tongue that closes the throat. In addition to the tongue, other soft tissue in the throat can also be loosened so that the airway closes.

Obstruction in the airways will stop breathing and result in the person unwittingly awakened to reopen the channel. That is what causes sleep to be not asleep and lose quality. Lack of sleep has been associated with risk of heart disease, hypertension, to decrease productivity.

Sleep apnea occurs in 4 percent of middle-aged population. Risk factors of sleep apnea is obesity and the consumption of certain drugs such as sleeping pills. This condition is also more common in postmenopausal women. Hormonal changes in menopausal women will make the throat muscles relax more than usual.

Chin stoker is currently still being developed and tested at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London. This technique is known as continuous transcutaneous electrical stimulation targeted to stimulate the muscles that control the tongue and other tissues in the throat, so they no longer cover the airway. Because the airway is not closed, then there will be no snoring.

Electrodes are placed on both sides of the throat just below the jaw. Electrodes will give a small electric shock that causes muscles to contract, pull open the airway.

A study that was conducted involving 33 patients of sleep apnea. The use of this technique for 10 minutes in the evening on Genioglossus muscle, the muscle that extends from the chin to the tongue, can help expand the airways.

Another small study, with six patients, Tohoku University School of Medicine in Japan found the use of tools can help improve the 50 percent of the symptoms.

Currently doctors at Guy's and St Thomas' has developed a new version of the tool. This tool makes it possible to detect the presence of snoring sound and automatically delivers an electrical current to blast breathing returned to normal.

Painless electrical current designed, so as not to wake the patient. This tool is being tested in about 50 patients.