Background: Snoring is not merely a common nuisance but has been identified as a risk factor for poor health. Last resort treatments for palate-based snoring are surgical - reducing the amount of soft palate and/or stiffening it by causing scarring. They carry a burden of risk and expense and have a high recurrence rate.
Objective: This pilot study was a first step in determining whether singing exercises could be used as a non-invasive treatment to increase muscle tone in the tissues of the throat and thereby reduce snoring.
Method: The duration of snoring of 20 chronic snorers was recorded by voice-activated tape recorder for 7 nights both before and after treatment. The therapeutic intervention consisted of instruction in singing technique and singing exercises which subjects were directed to practice for 20 minutes a day for 3 months. Compliance was encouraged by a further visit and regular telephone follow-ups.
Results: Snoring was on average reduced, especially in subjects who performed the exercises accurately and consistently and who were not overweight. Those who did best, in addition, had no nasal problems and began snoring only in middle age.
Conclusion: A further randomized controlled study focusing on this group would appear justified and is being planned.
Copyright 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.