Snoring is a sound produced due to the obstruction of breathing while sleeping. It is caused by vibrations that occur when tissues at the top of the airway strike each other. Snoring is commonly observed in older people and those who are overweight. It may be a sign of a more serious condition known as sleep apnoea.
Sleep apnoea is a disorder in which breathing is brief and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. It is an involuntary condition and in most cases the person is unaware as the obstruction of breath does not trigger full awakening. As a result, sleep is fragmented and of low quality. Sleep apnoea is more common in men than in women.
In children, snoring may be a symptom of a problem related to the tonsils and adenoids. In adults and elderly people, snoring may be due to poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue, excessive throat tissue, long soft palate and uvula or obstructed nasal airways. Chronic snoring is an indicator of sleep apnoea and should not be left undiagnosed. As people with sleep apnoea are sleep deprived, the untreated condition may lead to difficulty in concentrating and mood changes such as irritability. Children may experience learning deficits and memory loss. Adults may have difficulty concentrating at work and focusing on the road when driving. People with the condition are at risk of developing high blood pressure, weight gain, memory loss, congestive heart failure, stroke, impotence and depression.
Snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea may be treated by a newly developed device by Oventus called the O2Vent. This is an oral appliance designed to direct air flow to the back of the throat and alleviate any obstruction from the nose, soft palate and tongue. It also advances the mandible forward. Your doctor will obtain impressions of your upper and lower teeth as well as a bite registration. These are then scanned with a 3D scanner and using 3D printing technology the custom-made appliance is designed.