How Wearing Stockings Could Stop You Snoring
Wearing tight stockings during the day may be a new way to tackle
snoring at night.
Compression stockings are widely used to treat varicose veins and
prevent blood clots in the legs after surgery and during long-haul
They are now being given to people with sleep apnoea, a major cause
This occurs when the soft tissue in the throat collapses repeatedly
at night, blocking air flow into the lungs.
Its thought the knee-length stockings will help reduce this
tissue collapse by tackling fluid build-up in the body a
small study of 12 patients has shown the stockings reduce symptoms
by a third.
Sleep apnoea affects an estimated one in 25 adults.
It triggers a pause in breathing for ten seconds or more before
the brain prompts the muscles to reopen the airway.
This process is accompanied by a loud snore that is then followed
by a gasping and spluttering sound.
The condition increases the risk of heart failure, stroke and diabetes.
Risk factors include being overweight, having a large neck, being
menopausal (hormonal changes can lead to throat muscles relaxing)
and taking medication such as sleeping pills.
The main treatment is a type of mask called a continuous positive
airway pressure (CPAP) device that delivers a supply of compressed
air during sleep to prevent the airway closing.
While these devices can be highly effective, many people find them
uncomfortable to wear, and it is estimated around 46 per cent of
people given them do not continue to use them.
The idea behind the stockings is that they prevent tissue fluid
a clear liquid that is a constitute of blood pooling
in the legs during the day.
Normally, the leg muscles help pump fluid back up to the body,
but this flow is hampered in those with poor circulation or who
are largely sedentary.
Experts believe an accumulation of this fluid can flow back towards
the head when the patient lies down at night.
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© 2012 Daily