Snoring is often talked about by doctors. Well, that makes sense. After all, snoring is a health issue that deserves medical attention. That puts doctors in a very good position to impart critical information about snoring. Needless to say, they’re the best people who can help cure it as well.
It’s seldom that we hear engineers talk about snoring. So, when they do, our ears are open.
Haibo Dong is an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.
Dong and Ph.D. students Junshi Wang and Pan Han are gaining new understanding of the fundamental science behind sleep apnea by using CT scans and MRIs to image the mouth and nose and the full airway – the “windpipe” – during snoring and apnea, and then computer-modeling the actions that cause vibrations of the uvula and obstructions. They are looking for the changes in the shape of the airway during sleep that cause perturbations in airflow. Those perturbations are the vibrations of snoring and the often-resulting breathing difficulties.
Snoring can be treated. Unfortunately, some treatments fail.
“Treatments often fail because there is a knowledge gap of the fundamental science behind the reasons for this health issue,” said Haibo Dong, a University of Virginia associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering who specializes in fluid dynamics research.
Understanding how snoring is produced can help bridge the gap. Research that puts together engineers and doctors can hopefully solve that.
If Dong’s team and his research colleagues, including Dr. James Daniero, a head and neck surgeon in UVA’s Department of Otolaryngology, can understand the basic mechanics of sound produced during normal breathing, then perhaps better treatments and longer-term solutions for abnormalities may be possible.
“This work is highly interdisciplinary and involves scientific problems in the fields of biology, physics, physiology and engineering,” Dong said. “By studying biological fluid dynamics, we are trying to predict and eventually control sleep apnea and snoring.”
Read on to see how they’re trying to do it.
Dong has now modeled both normal breathing and the breathing conditions of sleep apnea for people from 8 months to 80 years old. He is identifying the “force reduction,” the point when normal breathing does not provide enough air volume to keep the front and back of the airway open, resulting in collapse.
“With a normal airway, we see a very smooth channel that doesn’t vibrate much, and where there is not much force difference on the airway walls during breathing,” Dong said. “But with sleep apnea, we see fluctuations in force that become bigger and bigger, causing more and more vibration. Eventually the walls come together and cause obstruction.”
This causes a lack of oxygen to the brain after a couple of minutes, triggering a wake-up call. The breathing then becomes normal for a while, until the pattern repeats itself.
“We are looking for the conditions leading up to a threshold, that point where the airway collapses,” Dong said. “Knowing that could lead to more effective treatments to stop this before it happens.”
The research aims to provide pin point accuracy as to when and how normal breathing breaks down This way, we can all understand what causes one to snore.
The research also shows that sleep apnea causes more obstruction and vibration. Understanding when and how these take place can help doctors come up with treatments that work.
The research is something we all can look forward to. After all, who doesn’t want a lasting solution to snoring?
In the meantime, we can look at snoring mouthpieces. We may still be at a lost to understand the basic mechanics of snoring but that shouldn’t stop us from trying to control the annoying sounds that we make while we sleep. Fortunately, there are ways to control and to stop those annoying sounds.
Snoring mouthpieces can help clear the airway passage while you sleep. These are instant fixes to your snoring problem. However, you need to choose one that you feel comfortable in. Before choosing one, there are things to consider. To be sure, get with your doctor first.
Nonetheless, the following snoring mouthpieces are worth considering. The https://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/good-morning-snore-solution is a mouthpiece that you can immediately get a hold of. There’s no need for a doctor’s prescription. If you want an instant fix, you can try it now.
Other snoring mouthpieces worth considering are https://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/sleeptight, https://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/snorerx, and https://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/zquiet. These three options are mandibular adjustment devices (MAD). They can also help control and prevent snoring.
Snoring: From An Engineer’s Point Of View was originally published to The Snoring Mouthpiece Review Blog