If you're someone who snores frequently, the person with whom you share your bed may be compelling you to find a solution. While a variety of lifestyle changes — losing weight, for example — can diminish your snoring, you may look for a strategy that will help in the short term. An online search will often acquaint you with anti-snoring chin straps, which pass beneath your chin/jaw and over your head. This strap is designed to keep your mouth closed, which will prevent you from being able to snore. On the surface, such a measure seems like it might be a good idea, but here are some reasons that you should get an assessment — and perhaps a recommendation to have sleep apnea surgery — from a sleep professional instead.
It Could Impact Your Ability To Breathe
The big health risk of having sleep apnea is that you struggle to get enough oxygen into your body. Not everyone who snores has this sleep condition, but there's always a chance that you have some form of it. When you're essentially holding your mouth shut throughout the night and relying on your nose to inhale enough oxygen, you could struggle to breathe — and perhaps wake up with a start, feeling short of breath.
It's Not Comfortable
Sleeping soundly depends on a variety of things, including your comfort level. While some people may be OK with wearing a snoring chin strap while they sleep, others find it to be uncomfortable. If you're lying awake because the apparatus is bothering you, you're potentially missing out on valuable sleep. In the summer, if your house is hot, you may sweat underneath the strap, causing it to feel itchy and bothersome. If you have a beard, you may find that the strap pushes against your facial hair and causes irritation.
It Could Lead To Jaw Pain
If you're someone who naturally breathes through your mouth and snores while sleeping, you may constantly be attempting to open your mouth even while you wear the snoring chin strap. The resistance that it provides will keep you from doing so, but over the course of perhaps hundreds of attempts throughout the night, you'll be working your jaw muscles hard. By the time you get up in the morning, you may notice that your jaw muscles are sore, which can be problematic. Instead of attempting to fix your snoring yourself, you're better off visiting a sleep specialist to see if you do indeed have sleep apnea and, if so, how you should proceed.