Snore No More!
Snoring could cause strain in a relationship but Snoreben might be able to help that.
Snoring can be one ofthe surprising things that can affect a relationship. Not being able to fall asleep from the noise or waking up feeling cranky because of a night of interrupted sleep, can get anybody annoyed. Furthermore, it really isn’t the snorer’s fault! The snorer would probably feel bad that they’re affecting the sleep quality of their loved ones and some might have the misfortune to be ostracised for something they can’t help.
Richard Benson, Director of Benson Medical Services Pty. Ltd. based in Australia shares with Malaysians his motivation to invent Snoreben, a medical device to help snorers.
What motivated you to come up with the Snoreben?
Richard Benson: My snoring most definitely did. I have alar collapse (nasal collapse) and because it restricts the airflow of my nasal passages, it causes me to snore. It isn’t just people with nasal collapse. 90 percent of people who suffer from a deviated septum or trauma to the nose caused by accidents could snore as well.
Before the invention of Snoreben, what kinds of treatment did you try?
RB: I tried all manners of sprays, breathing strips (several at a time, in fact), and even an acupressure ring to no avail. I was at my wit’s ends so I went under the knife. An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist performed surgery to try to fix my collapsed nostrils but it didn’t work as well as I hoped. Following that, I underwent another procedure performed by a plastic surgeon which didn’t pan out as well.
How did your snoring impact your relationships?
RB: My lovely wife and I slept apart for more than five years already at that point. This petrified me because the longer we slept apart, I felt like our relationship was ‘cooling off’ due to snoring. After trying all those treatments that didn’t work, I realised if I wanted to help my snoring, I had to do it myself!
When I started inventing Snoreben, I asked my employees who snored and how itimpacted their relationships as well. I found out that one of them ended up having to sleep on the couch because of his snoring! This created an understanding among us and the employees of how snoring could put strain in any relationship and this drove us to create a product that could help.
How did you try to fix the problem yourself?
RB: I have a background in aeronautical engineering so I figured, why not just apply what I’ve learned to something that might help myself?
From speaking to the doctors, I knew that my collapsed nostrils were restricting my breathing. I realised that because my nostrils collapse when I breathe in, the solution is to somehow prop them open when I sleep.
Initially, I used straws to prop up my nostrils and tried breathing with it and it definitely helped my snoring and dry mouth. From that experience, I asked my wife who’s a registered nurse, for a catheter to experiment with. The first draft of this device was made with rubber and I definitely tested it on myself.
After a few years of lengthy prototyping, sleep tests and submission for patenting, Snoreben was finally done!
How is Snoreben used and can we use it when we’re not sleeping?
RB: Snoreben is specially designed with a retaining clip to keep the device in the nasal cavities while it’s being used. It is made with soft medical grade materials which are 100 percent latex free which is great news for those who are allergic to latex. After a night’s usage, all you need to do is just wash it with water.
Snoreben can also be used while you’re exercising to increase airflow via your nasal passages and prevent dry mouth from breathing with your mouth. Doing things like riding a bike or even using the computer at home with Snoreben could help you breathe better. Snoreben won’t cure asthma but it could help improve the process of breathing for an asthmatic.
It can also be used when you have a cold or allergies where your nasal passages are congested. It must be said that this product is not recommended for children under 12 years old.
Personally, how has Snoreben helped you and your relationship?
RB: Before the Snoreben, we had to sleep in different bedrooms because my snoring disrupted her sleep. When I first started using the Snoreben, my wife would actually check to see whether I’ve got them in my nostrils before going to sleep. My snoring isn’t as bad as it used to be and I actually wake up more refreshed than I used to. This is probably because of better airflow in my nasal passages and thus, more oxygen nourishing my body as I sleep. I’ve also suffered less from dry mouth because I don’t ‘mouth breathe’ anymore.
author: Richard Benson