Sleep apnea, or commonly well known as snoring, is really disturbing, especially for those who hear the sound while sleeping. This apnea is also called sleeping disorder and it causes many health problems. To overcome apnea, many people suggest chin strap. Let’s find out the basic information about sleep apnea and chin strap before deciding to use it.
What is Apnea for Real?
The complete medical term for apnea is OSAS or Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome. However, it is well known as sleep disorder where the person breathes shallowly during sleeping or commonly said as snoring. Everyone can have such of phenomena and the causes are varied.
Don’t underestimate apnea for sure. It is related to cardiovascular and neurocognitive of human being. Then, it can lead to extreme sleepiness in the daytime, hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. It can also make your brain stop sending signals of breathing or well known as central sleep apnea, what a simple yet deathly syndrome.
What Actually Happened When You Are Sleeping?
There are several steps that actually happen from lying on the bed until you get a deep sleep. These steps are unconsciously happened and it is important to know them all to get to know how apnea really happens.
- Firstly, you are still fully awake. You are still alert with the condition around you
- Then, your brain begins to slow down. In this part, you may feel some sensations such as feeling that your name is called or sudden jerk.
- Light sleep step. This is a transition step from awake to falling asleep.
- Your body temperature goes down and your heart beats also slow down. This is a deeper sleep.
- Then the special step, the REM or Rapid Eye Movement.
In this REM step, your brain is more active but your muscles are relaxed. In this step your muscles are incapable to move, including your jaw muscle. Then, because it is relaxed, the chin will drop down, and your mouth will be opened.
More than that, other tissues and tongue fall back and block the upper airway in your nasal part. It makes the airflow stops several times. So the air will look for another way and it’s through the mouth, and sometimes, it produces some sound which is called snoring.
How to Overcome Apnea?
Traditionally, there are so many ways that you can try to overcome apnea. The very classic way is you should sleep by lying on your side. Some people say that it will open the blocked nostril and let the air flow away. However, there is no scientific research yet about this, and for some people, it doesn’t work.
The next way is that you should lose some weight. People believe that apnea is also related to the obese and body weight. You can try to lose some weight and see whether it works to overcome the apnea or not.
Alcohol is something that you should avoid if you want to overcome the apnea. Alcohol can make your body in unbalance condition that will trigger apnea. You must not drink alcohol if you want to stop the apnea.
Apnea can also be triggered by other disease such as dental problem. If there is a problem with your teeth, especially when it is related to the nerves, it may cause apnea for sure. You should consult to the dentist if you have this kind of problem.
Sometimes, apnea is also a sign of more serious health problems and it needs surgical interventions. This will do if the cause of the sleep apnea is polyps or inflamed tonsils in your throat. You can have surgery to remove the cause and your sleep apnea will be gone.
However, in this case, you should ask specialist to examine your condition. Your health in general should be checked, so the doctor can understand the real cause. That’s why you should not underestimate apnea.
People nowadays also know the chinstrap to help people with apnea syndrome. What is exactly chin strap? How to use it and is it really effective to overcome apnea?
Chin Strap as a Solution for Apnea
Actually this chin strap is not a new thing, but it is usually used by the athlete to protect their chin if they experience hard bump. This strap will make your chin stay in the right position. If you use this strap while sleeping, it is believed that your apnea will be gone.
This tool is basically a cup, made of fabric that will support and keep your chin in the position. It has straps on the side which you use around your sides of face and head. This strap will help closing your mouth while sleeping so the air will flow through your nostril not your mouth.
Actually, chin strap is an innovation of the former tool to stop apnea, which is nose mask. However, this nose mask is a little bit uncomfortable to wear while sleeping. This chin strap will reduce your snore in a more comfortable way.
Even the newest innovation of chin strap has pads inside the strap. It will be more comfortable to use this strap and it will not leave any marks if you put it off. Some of them are also completed with velcro strap that will ease you to adjust the chin strap.
How Chin Strap Actually Work?
This chin strap will hold your jaw up and close your mouth. This position will make sure that the tissues and tongue will not fall back and block the airflow to the nose. There will be no more snoring or simply reduce it.
What you should pay attention at is the way you use this chin strap. You should wear it right, so there will be no unwanted accident happens. Then in order to achieve the best result, you should stay on your back position and do not toss and turn while sleeping.
The other thing that you should consider is you are allowed to use this chin strap if you snore through the mouth. If you are snoring through your nose, this chin strap will not help you. In fact, this strap can danger your life because there will be no way for the air to pass through.
You must consult the professionals of this chin strap to find what kind of chin strap that meets your need. You should go to see the doctor too in order to find out the cause and the kind of apnea that you have. Everyone has different case that should be solved in different way.
There are Times to Avoid Chin Straps
You cannot use the chin straps all the time. There are several conditions that you should meet before you use the chin strap. Make sure that you will not use the chin straps in wrong condition.
- Make Sure That Your Nose is Not Blocked
This is really an important thing to be ensured. If you get some runny nose, or your nose is blocked due to the allergic condition, sinusitis, or other types of infection, just do not use the chin strap.
If you are in this condition, the air has to come out through the mouth because it cannot go out through the nose. If you use chin straps in this condition, it will block the only way the air comes out. It will be so dangerous for sure.
- Make Sure That You Already Consult the Doctor
The important thing from seeing and consulting the doctor is you can get to know your real condition. Do not ever think that you get sleep apnea just because you are snoring while sleeping. The doctor should see and diagnose you.
If you are snoring just because you are tired, use the chin straps because it can be dangerous. It will lead to a condition in which you are lack of oxygen. The dangerous thing is that you cannot move your muscle while sleeping, so you will not be aware if you are lack of oxygen and you can do nothing.
If you already buy a chin strap, you should ask your partner or anyone that sleep with you to watch you while you are sleeping. If there is any choking or gasping event while using the chin straps, this tools should be immediately removed. This means that you should not wear the chin straps.
Is Chin Strap an Effective Tool to Reduce Apnea?
This question is asked by anyone who wants to buy and wear chin strap in order to reduce their sleep apnea. However, the effect of chin strap is still debatable. Some say it works and some say it does not work at all.
Actually, it comes back to the user him or herself. The chin strap may be a useful tool because it can keep your mouth closed and there will be no more snore sound. It will be successful to decrease the apnea, if the user only has a problem with mouth-opened behavior. This tool will help them to have a better and correct behavior.
For the user who has sleep apnea because of other disease, this chin strap will only help you to stop the snore for some times. If you do not use it anymore, the snoring habit will come back. So, it is really suggested to consult the doctor first.
If you already consult the doctor and he or she suggests you to use CPAP machine or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, you will be suggested to wear the chin strap too. These two tools work together in a great way.
The therapy using CPAP will force air into throat. Then the pressure of the air will help the nasal air way open. CPAP therapy will not that successful if your mouth is still opened. This is the job of chin strap, to push your jaw up and close your mouth.
Which Chin Straps Should You Choose?
There are so many options of chin strap out there. They are varied in matter of color, model, and material. However, the good chin straps should meet this condition so you can feel the advantage.
- Clinically Tested
Remember, this chin strap is not for fashion, it is a tool that will help you to reduce sleep anea. It should be clinically tested. If it is clinically tested, you can be sure enough to wear and it will work well.
This chin strap is used while you are sleeping, so it is should be comfortable. This tool will not give much more good effect if you cannot sleep well because of the uncomfortable strap. So, adjust the straps to fit your level of comfort.
- Effective to Stop the Snore
Of course you want the best result by buying certain chin straps. A good chin straps should be effective to stop the snore from the very first of use.
- Long Lifespan
Who wants to buy chin straps which just stays for several weeks? No one, of course. A good chin strap is not only can help one time, but should be durable and last for at least several months of use.
- Easy to Clean
Sometimes you are sweating while sleeping and your sweat may stick to the chin strap. It should be easy to clean strap, so you can wear it again comfortably. Even, it will be better if the chin strap is equipped with anti-bacterial material that can protect the strap from unwanted bacterial.
You can always ask the doctor for suggestion of best chin straps that fit your need. You can also ask your friend who already buy and try the chin strap. Or you can go to the review site and see chin strap review to ensure you yourself.
The decision is yours now, whether to use the chin strap for sleep apnea or not. It is suggested to consult the doctor first to ensure yourself about which kind of chin strap that you should use and any other information because everyone has different case.