Logopedic therapy for velar-induced snoring

Examiner: Dr. Stephan Jonas, Dr. Antoine Serrurier, Inga Güte
Study duration: January 2017 – May 2017

Snoring is a widespread sleep-disorder. Especially middle- or high-aged men are affected with a prevalence of ca. 20 to 45%. Snoring is produced by the relax of the soft parts of the upper respiratory tract during sleep and the subsequent vibration. There are different sources that can produce the snoring. One the one hand snoring can be produced be the velum which especially is relevant for the described clinical trial. On the other hand the root of tongue or the epiglottis can be other sources. Apart from that there are different methods to treat the snoring. These methods include operational methods and additives. Additionally conservative methods such as weight reduction or speech and language therapy can also be used to handle the snoring. In the described clinical trial the attention is focussed upon the speech and language therapeutic treatment. In previous clinicals trials the effect of speech and language therapeutic exercises on subjects suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea or on mixed groups of subjects suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea or from primary snoring was investigated. Apart from that they always included both sexes, although in one study it was shown that there are differences between men and women. Another point is that in these studies they always used the same methods for every kind of snoring.

Our Study

Because of that the aim of the study is to investigate whether a speech and language therapeutic treatment which is laid out on the invigoration of the velum or a speech and language therapeutic treatment which does not focus the velum but includes holistic myofunctional exercises can reduce or eleminate the snoring of men suffering from velar induced primary snoring.
The positive votum of the ethics committee was recieved on 31 of August 2016. The study should include approximately ten subjects who are devided into two therapy groups randomly. Before the therapy starts every subject passes an ear nose and throat medical investigation, an anamnesis, they fill in two questionnaires concerning the sleepquality and the daytime sleepiness and a sleep-investigation is conducted using the Sleepy-Lab. For the monitoring of the test persons we make use of an easy to use smartphone application.
The application records the ambient noises by using two external microhones that are placed in the test person’s bed on both sides of the pillow.
The test person starts the record when he goes to bed and stops it again when he wakes up in the morning.
The recorded audio file is stored on the smartphones internal memory and additionally the current sound level is stored to a local database on the smartphone.
For further analysis, the recordings are transferred to a personal computer by using the smartphone as external storage.
Recorded data are not transferred to the Internet during the study. The data from the sleep-investigation is analysed using Praat.
After the pretest the therapy starts. The therapy is conducted for eight weeks once a week. Each session lasts 45 minutes. Additionally the subjects do the exercises at home on five days a week for 30 minutes.
After the therapy the anamnesis, the questionnaires and the sleep-investigation are done again. The results from pre- and posttest are compared for each participant and afterwards the results of the two therapy groups are compared statistically.