Will CHIN STRAPS Silence your SLEEP APNEA If you're a Mouth breather?

Considering using chin straps for sleep apnea instead of CPAP? When should you use this stop snoring sleep aid? Are they effective enough to justify looking strange in bed? What are the pros and cons of 3 popular models? And if you're on a budget, here's how to construct a cheap, but effective DIY option.

Why Use Chin Straps to treat your night-time breathing problems?

For many people, the most comfortable continuous positive airway pressure therapy option for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the nasal CPAP mask. But that isn’t much help if you are a mouth-breather. You’re not getting the benefit of the air pressure and you’re leaking air out of your mouth.

So you're told by your doctor to try a full face mask. But what if you can’t tolerate it? Patients with mild OSA who sleep with their mouths open may be able to use a chin strap as an alternative for standard CPAP therapy. It will gently close your mouth so you will breathe through your nose.

HOw do they work?

Most chin straps are designed to position your jaw a bit forward to help keep your airway open.

They are very easy to use. Take it out of the box, put it on. Go to sleep quieter.

If you have nasal obstructions such as polyps, don’t try this snoring solution without talking to your doctor. There are good reasons why some people are mouth-breathers.

How Effective Are They?

Some studies have shown that a chin strap alone does not improve a patient’s Apnea–Hypopnea Index during REM sleep. Others have indicated that this alone may help even severe cases of OSA. The studies continue.

The bottom line is: If you try a chin strap it and it works for you, then it works for you.

Here are 4 examples of strap aids that OSA sufferers can try to see if you stop causing noisy sleep problems for yourself and those around you.

Anti Snoring Chin Strap

This anti-snoring sleep aid is adjustable with velcro so it can fit your head properly. It’s light as a feather (almost) and the chin fabric is breathable and the velcro strips are long enough for even your big head.


Pros:

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Snug and comfortable
  • Normal movement won’t knock it out of place
  • Chin fabric is soft
  • Works with CPAP
  • Adjustable

Cons:

  • If you squirm a lot you’ll have to wake up and reposition it
  • Some people noticed an odor
  • Your hair might get stuck to the Velcro
  • Doesn't come with instructions. (but the drawing below should help)
How to use the Trilink anti-snore chin straps

using CHIN STRAPS WITH CPAP THERAPY

For most patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), CPAP is the most effective treatment. But it’s no use if you don’t or can’t use it. And you need sleep to prevent daytime sleepiness and all the other health problems associated with OSA. Mouth-breathers can avoid “mouth leak” and dry mouth by using the full face mask.

But for many people the full mask is extremely uncomfortable, and comfort is a very important factor in CPAP compliance. About half of patients either stop using CPAP or use it for less than four hours per night. Using a chin strap in tandem with a nasal mask solves two problems: the nasal mask is more comfortable than the full mask, and the chin strap helps to keep your mouth shut. If you are comfortable with the full face mask and require the better seal that it provides, but still experience dry mouth, you could try a chin strap even with that.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, “Chinstrap users had significantly greater PAP adherence, longer nightly duration of PAP use, lower residual AHI and lower leak compared to chinstrap non-users...”

Here are two chin straps that people use along with CPAP therapy:

CAREFUSION STOP SNORING CHIN STRAP

This anti-snoring sleep aid will help keep your mouth shut while you sleep, it works with CPAP, and helps keep the mask stable. It’s made from a breathable material and lined with an anti-bacterial agent. Adjustable, with Velcro straps.


Pros:

  • Stretchy neoprene keeps your mouth closed while you sleep, but allows you to open it if you want to
  • Well-made, and made in the USA
  • No chemical smell
  • Doesn’t bother your ears
  • There are two places to tweak the size with Velcro straps
  • Easy to clean with the rest of your PAP paraphernalia

Cons:

  • Can come off if you are a restless sleeper
  • Takes some getting used to and some tweaking to get the tension right
  • Biggest complaint: size chart needs to be improved so people can get the right size – not adjustable enough if you buy the wrong size
  • There is stitching right under your chin
  • Not good for people allergic to synthetic materials

RESMED UNIVERSAL HEADGEAR

This sleep apnea strap is compatible with ResMed’s Mirage Nasal Mask. It’s lightweight, soft, easy to use, and comes in a variety of sizes. It’s the same one that came with your original ResMed gear.


Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Easy to put on
  • Stable and well-made
  • Very inexpensive for the quality
  • Intended for use with CPAP

Cons:

  • Make sure it comes in an official ResMed package
  • Some people say it gets stretched out too fast
  • Other people say it isn’t elastic enough
  • Doesn’t include clips

Make your own CHEAP, FOOLPROOF CHIN STRAP

If you've got more time than money on your hands, you can easily make your own anti-snoring sleep aid.  That’s a nice change from the rest of your expensive apnea gear, right?

Supplies:

How to make it:

  1. Cut the brim off the baseball cap.
  2. Put the brimless baseball cap on your head with the ghost-brim facing forward.
  3. Cut a 24-inch-long strip of the fuzzy (“loops”) side of the Velcro.
  4. Hold one end of the strip at the top of your head.
  5. Loop the strip under your chin tightly and then up the other side of your face back to the top of your head. Make it tight enough so you can't open your mouth, but loose enough that it doesn’t leave crease marks on your face or make you uncomfortable.
  6. Cut off the extra, but keep holding it.
  7. Have your buddy use the Sharpie to map the outline (perimeter) of the strip on the baseball cap.
  8. Let the Velcro go and take off the baseball cap.
  9. Cut two pieces of the “hooks” side of the Velcro strip, one for each side of the cap, that match the outline your friend drew.
  10. Remove the adhesive protector strip from the “hooks” Velcro strips.
  11. Apply the “hooks” Velcro pieces, one on each side of the cap, where the Sharpie outlines indicate.
  12. Attach one end of the “loops” Velcro strip to the top of one of the “hook” Velcro strips that are now on the cap and let the other end hang.

How to use it:

  1. Place the baseball cap on your head with the missing brim facing forward.
  2. Hold the top of the cap stationary with one hand.
  3. Use your other hand to bring the end of the hanging “loops” Velcro strap under your chin and back up to the other side of your head.
  4. Attach it to the “hooks” Velcro strap on that side so that your jaw can't move, but you're still comfortable.
  5. Go to sleep.

So that's all you need to know about this simple anti-snoring sleep aid. You've found out how effective they are and when and how to use them. And you've got some great alternatives. Now stop waking the entire household up. Go get some chin straps for your sleep apnea !

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