Snoring causes poor quality sleep – for both the snorer and the bed partner.
It is caused by intermittent collapse of the airway during sleep, blocking airflow with a temporary absence of breathing.
It’s often part of a syndrome called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a risk factor for diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Sleeping poorly causes daytime drowsiness and irritability, and can cause poor work performance. So if you or your partner is a snorer, you may be looking for solutions to the problem and a better night’s sleep.
What snoring treatments are available and how will they affect me?
- CPAP – The usual first treatment is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, a machine that pushes air into your airway to keep it open throughout the night. The treatment is effective for many people. • Uncomfortable mask • Dry mouth • Noisy machine • Feelings of claustrophobia
- MAD – Mandibular Advancement Devices are mouthpieces that push the lower jaw forward. • Discomfort in the jaw after 8 hours with device in place • Irritation of the gums • Misalignment of the teeth
Surgery for Snoring
Many people want a permanent solution to the problem. There are a variety of procedures that range from minimally invasive, done in the office, to surgeries that require a stay in the hospital. The type of surgery depends on where the problem is.
1. Sinus problems
- Balloon Sinuplasty – A deflated balloon is inserted through the nose, into the sinus cavity and then slowly inflated until it pushes all the mucus out. The balloon is then withdrawn and the sinus flushed. • Minimally invasive office procedure • Local anesthesia • No skin incision • Normal activity within hours • Only effective for people with blocked sinuses • May have to be repeated every two to three years
- Endoscopic Sinus Surgery – Using a small tube, the surgeon enters the sinus through the nose and can remove any obstruction such as polyps. Outpatient procedure requires general anesthesia. • Recovery time is usually seven to ten days • No skin incision • Effects often good for years
2. Soft palate collapse
- Soft Palate Coblation – Radio frequencies are used to form channels in the soft tissues in the back of the throat. Scar tissue then forms in these channels, which makes the tissue stiffer and less likely to collapse during sleep. • Fast and simple • Minimally invasive in office under local anesthesia • Effective for both simple snoring and mild to moderate OSA • Decrease in snoring after about six weeks • Normal activity within hours • While not permanent, can be effective for years
- Pillar Procedure – By inserting small implants into the soft palate under local anesthesia, the palate is stiffened, with results similar to the coblation procedure.
Thin curved bones that stick out into the nasal cavity on both sides and are covered with tissues that can become swollen and block the airway.
- Coblation turbinate reduction – Radiofrequency energy is used to reduce the size of the turbinates. • Fast and simple • Minimally invasive in office under local anesthesia • Effective for snoring caused by sinus problems and allergies • Recovery period can take a few hours
The flap of tissue that hangs down at the back of the throat, which is sometimes large or excessively long
- Laser Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty – Reduction in size of the uvula is accomplished with laser technology. • Minimally invasive in office under local anesthesia • Sore throat for a week or so • Otherwise normal activity the same day • Effective for snoring and mild sleep apnea
The tongue can fall back into the throat in some people and block the airway
- Radiofrequency Ablation of the Tongue – stiffens and reduces the far back of the tongue • Minimally invasive office procedure under local anesthesia • Normal activity the next day • Minimal discomfort • Effective for snoring and mild sleep apnea
6. Nasal septum
Can be crooked and block one side
- Septoplasty – the bone and cartilage are straightened • Done in outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia • Recovery period about 1 week for normal activities • Nasal congestion and minor discomfort • Effective for snoring and mild sleep apnea
Tonsillectomies and other more extensive surgeries require admission to a hospital and have longer recovery periods.
Snoring can disrupt your sleep and your life. You don’t have to put up with it. If you or a loved one has a snoring problem, eos sleep can help. With clinics around the country and Board Certified surgeons, you can find a solution with confidence. Go to www.www.eossleep.com and take their snore quiz.
Then schedule an appointment to discover the options. Find a better way to sleep.