In your search to find a good treatment for your snoring, you may have heard about snoring masks. These are great solutions for many people, especially those with sleep apnea. However, you should always do your research before buying an anti-snoring device. Not everyone snores for the same reason, so you have to figure out which treatment or type of mask is best for your own snoring habit.
What Is a Snoring Mask?
Snoring masks are anti-snoring treatments that usually work by keeping the tissues in the mouth and throat open. Most people snore because their soft palate, tongue, or uvula relaxes too much and vibrates against the surrounding tissue during every inhale. The best way to prevent snoring is to stop the tissues from collapsing and vibrating. Snoring masks attach to your face and keep your airway open either by providing extra air pressure or by repositioning your jaw.
What Are the Different Types of Snoring Masks?
The most common type of mask is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. There are three main components to a CPAP device: the machine, the tube, and the mask. The machine provides a steady flow of oxygen, which travels through the tube and to the mask. The mask releases the oxygen into the airway, which helps keep the throat wide open.
All CPAP masks work in a similar way, but there are a few different styles. The full-face mask covers your mouth and nose, so it provides the most airflow. The nasal CPAP mask only covers your nose, from the bridge to your upper lip. Nasal pillows are the smallest and most lightweight CPAP option. The pillows rest at the entrance to your nostril and bring oxygen directly to your nose.
There are a couple new, innovative anti-snoring eye masks on the market. Snore Circle is an eye mask that uses micro-vibrations to stop you from snoring. When you start to snore, these vibrations will cause the muscles in your neck, jaw, and throat to tighten, which will open up your airway.
This is a nontraditional snoring mask, but many people have had success with it. It’s comfortable and portable, and you can sleep on your back, side, or stomach without displacing it.
The other popular eye mask is Silent Partner. When you start snoring, the mask will release inverted sound waves that cancel out your snores. This will let your partner sleep comfortably without being woken up by your snoring. However, it doesn’t actually stop you from snoring.
Snore Away Mask
The Snore Away mask looks like a dust mask, but it has several straps that fit around your head and jaw to keep your mouth closed while you sleep. This forces you to breathe through your nose, which reduces your risk of snoring.
Who Benefits From Snoring Masks?
Most snorers and people with sleep apnea can benefit from snoring masks. CPAP masks are especially helpful for people with severe snoring problems that affect their health. When the tissues in your airway collapse, your body might not get enough oxygen. CPAP provides a direct supply of oxygen, which fixes this issue.
The other snoring masks are good for people who don’t like invasive anti-snoring devices. With these masks, you don’t have to keep anything in your mouth while you sleep. You can simply place the mask over your face and experience the benefits.
Are There Any Downsides?
The constant airflow from a CPAP machine can cause some side effects, including congestion and a dry throat. Some people have trouble adjusting to the CPAP mask because it feels different than natural breathing. Also, some people feel claustrophobic when they have the bulky mask over their face.
Like CPAP masks, the Snore Away mask might be difficult to adjust to. It covers most of the lower half of your face, so it may feel stifling for the first few nights. Anti-snoring eye masks are comfortable and easy to use, but they might not be as effective as other snoring devices.
What Are the Alternatives?
Snoring masks can be a great way to treat sleep-disordered breathing, but no device works perfectly for everyone. Here are some alternatives that should keep your airway open and prevent snoring:
Mandibular Advancement Devices
Mandibular advancement devices are mouthpieces that hold the lower jaw forward and create more space in the throat for air to pass through. They usually are custom-fitted to your mouth and can be incrementally increased to help you adjust. With proper care, these devices can last for a year or longer. It’s easy to take it with you when you travel, and it doesn’t cause any serious side effects.
Tongue Stabilizing Devices
A tongue stabilizing device is a small piece of plastic that looks almost like a pacifier. It attaches to the tip of your tongue and pulls your tongue forward, preventing it from collapsing over your airway. Like mandibular advancement devices, this anti-snoring treatment is comfortable, portable, and easy to take care of.
Chin straps surround the top of your head and the underside of your chin to keep your mouth closed as you sleep. When you breathe through your nose, the air won’t rush directly past the tissues in your mouth and make them vibrate. Many people mouth breathe while they sleep, but when a chin strap forces your mouth to stay closed, you’ll have to breathe through your nose.