A New TreatmentThe nasal cannula is not a new device. It consists of a plastic tube that wraps around a patient's ears and two nose plugs that fit into the nostrils. Once the cannula is hooked up to an oxygen tank or portable oxygen generator, it pushes supplemental oxygen into the nostrils of patients in need of it.
Today, though, researchers have discovered that a nasal cannula might be an effective way to reduce severe snoring. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University found in 2007 that patients who suffer from snoring can reduce their symptoms significantly if they receive warm, humidified air from a nasal cannula.
Treating Sleep ApneaSleep apnea is a more serious issue than is severe snoring: With this disorder, a patient's breathing suddenly starts and stops multiple times during the night. According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep apnea can result in severe cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure.
Fortunately, Johns Hopkins researchers found that by using a nasal cannula, patients could also significantly reduce their incidents of sleep apnea.
Pros and ConsThe nasal cannula might be a good option for anyone who does not want to undergo surgery to resolve snoring or sleep apnea problems. It's a fairly unobtrusive device, and a rather simple solution to what can be a vexing problem.
Still, not everyone responds well to a nasal cannula. Many patients report having difficultly sleeping with a tube inserted in their nostrils. Others say that the oxygen generator next to their beds makes too much noise.
Before deciding on whether a nasal cannula is right for you, consult with your physician.